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What compatibility issues should I consider before using WPA2 or WPA encryption? All wireless devices connected to your wireless home network must be compatible with the type of encryption you select. If you have any device that isn’t compatible with WPA2, you will need to consider using WPA or WEP*.

Windows Operating System requirements
  • WPA2
    • Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later. Windows XP with Service Pack 2 using the Microsoft stand alone network update patch may be compatible but Service Pack 3 is recommended.
  • WPA
    • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later.
  • WEP
    • Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista.


Macintosh requirements
  • WPA2
    • Mac OS X 10.4.2 with Airport Extreme or Airport Express cards
    • AirPort software version 4.2 or later required for Airport Extreme or Airport Express Card (available via software update)

  • WPA
    • Mac OS X 10.3 or later with AirPort or AirPort Extreme card
    • AirPort software version 3.3 or later required for the AirPort Card ( available via Software Update)
    • AirPort software version 3.2 or later required for the AirPort Extreme Card ( available via Software Update)


Other wireless devices

Some older wireless devices may not be compatible with WPA2 or WPA encryption. This may include network hardware like network interface cards (NICs) and wireless adapters. If you have gaming devices like an Xbox or Wii, you may want to check their website for WPA2 and WPA compatibility before selecting the level of encryption for your wireless network.


* If you have a device that isn’t compatible with the security level you prefer, you can choose to connect that device using an Ethernet cable. It will no longer be wireless, but it will be connected to your network and available for sharing and other network activities.
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