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We have been slowly upgrading laptops at the office; we do use VPNs per device (software) to help “encrypt” out of date Wi-Fi adapters.

Should we upgrade network cards or dongles to a newer technology asap or does the regular WI-FI 6 routers have some kind of backwards security compatibility feature to sort of “beef up” the AC to AX and vice versa or do they just communicate via older standards period?

Would a Wi-Fi 6 VPN router help “upgrade” the connection in the same idea or would the AC Wi-Fi still just transmit AC to AX leaving it helpless and out of date?

If I can add another similar question about Bluetooth devices, when a older device (4.0) is connected/communicating to a newer device (5.1) does the encryption become as strong as the 5.1 standards or of does it use the older generation 4.0 leaving it out of date and pointless as well?

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  • If a device does not support WPA3 (which is the security foundation of Wifi-6) then the pure existing of a WPA3 capable device in the network will not fix it, i.e. it will still use WPA2 (which is hopefully supported). Same with Bluetooth protocols, TLS protocols etc. But what specific attacks you are worried about? Aug 6 at 5:40
  • Captures and decryption, snooping, spying… all the above, there’s a lot of news about WP2 not secure even with the 256 AES standards.. may be off but with the specs but just in the neighborhood of that, plus the employees take the laptops home and some love in apartments, so 30 other people could try some kind of hack.. Aug 6 at 15:16
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    I recommend that you consult more solid information than just "lots of news" - maybe starting with the security issues listed at Wikipedia. With WPA2-Enterprise or a strong password with WPA2-PSK you should be fine for practical attacks, providing that the systems are up-to-date. And if your systems are not up-to-date or maybe no longer supported you likely have more risks, outside of WiFi. Aug 6 at 15:37

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