Temporal key integrity protocol definition
Temporal key integrity protocol (also known as TKIP) is an encryption method for wireless local area networks. It emerged as a safer encryption option than the Wired Equivalent Privacy — one of the earliest protocols. The introduction of TKIP marked a turning point in wireless network security because it finally addressed some of the major weaknesses of WEP.
See also: wireless local area network
How does TKIP work?
- TKIP starts by generating a unique encryption key for each data packet sent over the network.
- When data is sent, TKIP encrypts each packet using the unique key. Even if someone intercepts the data, it’s scrambled and unreadable without the correct key.
- TKIP constantly changes these keys, creating new ones for each packet. This frequent key rotation makes it difficult for anyone trying to eavesdrop on the network to decode the data.
- At the receiving end, the correct key decrypts the data packets, returning them to their original form for the intended recipient to use.
TKIP vs. WEP
- WEP was one of the earliest encryption protocols. It used a static encryption key — it stayed the same for all data packets, making it easier for hackers to crack.
- TKIP was created to solve WEP’s security issues. It introduced dynamically changing keys to make it much harder for attackers to bypass the encryption. TKIP also stayed compatible with WEP, meaning networks could transition to a more secure protocol without needing to replace their computers. However, while it provided better security than WEP, TKIP is now considered outdated and less safe than more modern protocols (e.g., WPA2).