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Wi-Fi Security Enhanced in Update for XP SP2

A free download available from Microsoft on Thursday brings support for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) to Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Microsoft describes WPA2 as the highest level of standards-based wireless security currently available.

"This free download provides enterprises, mobile workers and home users a new level of protection from wireless threats. Support for the Wi-Fi Alliance standard enables many government agencies, healthcare providers and security-mandated industries to deploy wireless networks for the first time," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail statement.

The WPA2 specification requires that PC wireless software is compatible with IEEE 802.11i, a security standard developed specifically for Wi-Fi networks. It builds on protections of the earlier WPA specification with advanced data encryption to meet new federal government agency standards and HIPAA privacy requirements.

The Microsoft download also brings support for Wireless Provisioning Services Information Element (WPS IE). That standard allows wireless ISPs to support unsecured and secured Wi-Fi networks on a single network infrastructure during migration to a more secure infrastructure at hot spots.

The download is available here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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