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In late June 2018, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced the most significant update to the Wi-Fi Protected Access standard in 14 years: WPA3. The Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 protocol brings significant security updates to the ubiquitous but aging, WPA2 protocol which was first introduced back in 2004.
WPA3 will operate in two distinct modes consistent with WPA2 before it: WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Enterprise.
The transition into a wide-spread adoption of the new WPA3 protocol is likely going to take a few years. As manufacturers begin to introduce devices which support WPA3 networks, there will be some interoperability issues that you will want to take note of.
While new devices which support WPA3 will still be able to connect to WPA2 networks, the inverse is will not be true. Devices which do not support the WPA3 protocol (which includes most wireless devices currently in existence today), will not be able to connect to WPA3 networks. Theoretically, it may be possible for manufacturers to update device firmware to implement WPA3 support on existing devices, but that appears to be unlikely. Most manufacturers are likely to instead, focus on implementing WPA3 support into new hardware releases moving forward.
So, before you go out and buy the first WPA3 capable wireless router that hits the market, understand that most devices currently on your network are not likely going to be able to take advantage of its fancy new WPA3 security.
Endpoint devices will need to be upgraded to models which support WPA3 prior to switching over your network to WPA3. This way, new devices will still be able to connect to your existing WPA2 network and when the time comes to flip the switch over to WPA3, they will support that too.
Adoption of WPA3 will take some time and there may be a few bumps in the road along the way as with any major protocol update. However, WPA3 is a welcomed update to WPA2 which our security landscape stands to benefit from for years to come.