When I try connecting to wireless networks (with no RADIUS server), I enter the password and it goes through an authentication process. After the station successfully connects to the access point, a 4-way handshake is done to generate PTK, GMK to encrypt the traffic.

In this case, I want to know how the authentication is done. I wonder if there are some protocols in wireless network authentication (generally in home networks, preshared-key settings).

I'm not talking about the 4-way handshake. Though I searched for WPA-PSK authentication, all I could find were posts explaining the 4-way handshake. In this post https://www.wifi-professionals.com/2019/01/4-way-handshake, I want to know what is going on in the authentication management frames. This is the image in the post what I am curious about.


1 Answer 1


IEEE 802.11 standard defines two types of authentication:

  • Open System
  • Shared Key

Joining a client to the access point includes four steps:

  • Authentication (Request)
  • Authentication (Response)
  • Association Request
  • Association Response

WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 are the three security certification programs developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance. This type of authentication comprises:

  • 802.11 open system authentication
  • Association request/response
  • WPA authentication/key exchange

For more information see this post.

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