A Quick Way to Check Encryption on WiFi Connections

March 2, 2016 | Views: 17139

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Here’s quick way check the encryption of your WiFi connections:


1 – Open your terminal in Linux and run the following command:
Find the ID for your wireless adapter, run ifconfig, scroll down until you see WLAN followed by number. Most of the time it would be wlan0


2 – After you confirm your wireless adapter run the following:
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan


An explanation of what you’ll see is the screenshot above.

Encryption key: off. This means your connection on the wireless network is not encrypted and data is being transferred in plaintext. ESSID is just the wireless network name you are connected to.

3 – Here’s example of what it must look like for you to know you’ve got a secure connection:


  • Encryption key: on << this is probably the first thing you must look for 🙂
  • WPA2 is the standard that replaced WEP. This is the recommended security protocol for wireless communication.
  • TKIP is the encryption method used in WPA (WiFi protected areas), which replaced WEP in WLAN products.
  • CCMP is the standard encryption protocol for use with the WPA2 standard
  • PSK is a shared secret between two parties using secure channel


Hope this works for you. It helps me know how careful I must be when using open networks.
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  1. Most users are windows based. After ipconfig, what are the steps in windows to add encryption to the wireless network?

    • I meant to write this and was distracted. ipconfig. then go through and find the name of your network (ssid). Then from the administrator command prompt next type netsh wlan show all. There will be a lot of information that comes up from these 2 commands. You can turn off the “broadcast id”, so that most people will not see your network. You just have to know it is there when you go to log onto wireless, because it will no longer show the name. So when logging on if your network was named “Birdy07”, you would need to set your laptop to automatically connect to Birdy07. Hope this helps

  2. Thank you for the information

  3. Just a FYI since you have blurred the ESSID, the first IE is the hexadecimal representation of the ESSID …

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