The main difference between WEP Open and WEP Shared is that WEP Open automatically authenticates any client without considering whether he has the correct WEP keys while WEP shared performs the actual authentication process.
WEP, which stands for Wireless Equivalent Privacy, is a protocol to secure wireless networks. There are two authentications in WEP called open authentication and shared key authentication. When considering overall security, WEP is not very effective. The newest protocol is Wi-Fi Processed Access (WPA).
Key Areas Covered
1. What is WEP Open
– Definition, Features
2. What is WEP Shared
– Definition, Features
3. What is the Difference Between WEP Open and WEP Shared
– Comparison of Key Differences
Authentication, Encryption, WEP Open, WEP Shared, WPA
What is WEP Open
In WEP Open authentication, the WLAN client does not need to provide the credentials to the Access point while authenticating. Therefore, any client can authenticate with the access point. It is also possible to use WEP keys to encrypt the data frames. At this point, the client should have correct keys. Usually, it is suitable to use WEP open when privacy is the main concern. On the other hand, in this authentication, any WLAN client can connect to the Access Point.
What is WEP Shared
WEP shared authentication consist of four main steps. First, the client sends an authentication request to the Access Point. Then, the Access point responds back with a clear text challenge. Next, the client encrypts the challenge text using the configured WEP key. Then it sends another authentication request. Finally, the Access Point decrypts the response. If the message is similar to the challenge text, the Access Point sends a positive reply. The pre-shared WEP key helps to encrypt the data frames using RC4. Here, the RC4 is a stream cipher.
Even though we feel that the shared authentication is more secure, it is not so. In shared authentication, it is possible to find the keystream using the challenge frames. Therefore, it is easier to decrypt in WEP shared than in WEP open.
Difference Between WEP Open and WEP Shared
WEP Open is an authentication type in WEP that does not need to provide credentials to the Access Point during the authentication while WEP Shared is an authentication type in WEP that requires four step challenge-response handshake to accomplish authentication. Thus, this is the main difference between WEP Open and WEP Shared.
WEP Open does not perform the actual authentication while WEP Shared performs the actual authentication (a process consisting of four steps).
Another difference between WEP Open and WEP Shared is security. WEP Open is more secure than WEP Shared.
Open and shared authentication are two authentications in WEP. The main difference between WEP Open and WEP Shared is that WEP Open automatically authenticates any client without considering whether he has the correct WEP keys while WEP shared performs the actual authentication process.
1. “Wired Equivalent Privacy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Dec. 2018, Available here.