WEP 128 versus 64

Just wondered how much gain in throughput I'd get by dropping to WEP64 from 128.

Just out of interest, what is the process overhead of having WEP enabled i.e in simple terms, how are the packets of data encrypted with WEP key. Is it a big overhead.


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Any encryption takes time and processing power and 128 takes more than

  1. If someone really wants to crack you it makes no difference which one you use.
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Nothing, the encrytiong work the same way only the keystrem is generated from a short initial value. And the keystrem is always as long as the data you send.


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Thomas Krüger

"Steffo" wrote in news:422787c6$1 snipped-for-privacy@news.bluewin.ch:

There should be no (or minimal) processing overhead in using WEP encryption with a 64 or 128 bit key. The encryption is done at hardware level in the wireless chipset. There is an overhead of 4 bytes per packet for ciphertext (encrypted) data over plaintext (non- encrypted) data.

If you want a reasonable overview of WEP encryption have a look here:

[Aside: This article has some confused language about authentication, although the message is there if you read carefully: WEP with Open System authentication is more secure than Shared Key]

Note that WPA uses the same RC4 encryption algorithm as WEP, but the way the key and message integrity are handled is different. The use of the same encryption is because it is done at the hardware level, and otherwise would involve a hardware change.

This hardware change will be necessary for WPA2 encryption using AES

- again, the computationally intensive encryption is done at hardware level, and only recent wireless chipsets include the necessary algorithms.

Hope this helps

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Richard Perkin

For grins I ran a throughput test with both.

64 wep decreased throughput by an average of 7.9% 128 wep decreased throughput by an average of 9.7%

Just a 1.8% difference.. Not enough to worry about.

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