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I want to use WPA3 alone, but it seems that a lot of devices I have only support WPA2, so I have to enable WPA2 in one way or another. Currently, I have created two Wi-Fi networks on the same router: one for WPA3-SAE and one for WPA2-PSK with different passwords.

I have heard that WPA3 is securer than WPA2, but if I use WPA2/WPA3 mixed mode for one Wi-Fi network, doesn't it negate the security advantages of WPA3? Or is the mixed mode not any worse in terms of security than to have two separate WPA2 and WPA3 networks?

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  • hostapd_cli -i wlan1 all_sta to check what encryption clients are using in openwrt cli. I was disapointed to see that none of them actually use WPA3, in fact.
    – solsTiCe
    Sep 24, 2022 at 22:36
  • @solsTiCe You mean, in Mixed Mode, right? If it is WPA3 only, the client must use WPA3, doesn't it? Sep 25, 2022 at 8:14

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Enabling WPA2/WPA3 mixed mode on a single Wi-Fi network may not completely negate the security advantages of WPA3, but it does introduce some potential vulnerabilities.

The idea of WPA2/WPA3 mixed mode is to allow devices that only support WPA2 to connect to the network while also providing to use WPA3 to all devices that support it. However, the mixed mode also allows for the possibility of downgrade attacks, where an attacker could force a device to use the less secure WPA 2 protocol even if it supports WPA 3. This makes it possible to capture a 4-way-handshake used only in WPA 1 and WPA 2 for authentification and attempting to offline brute force the password. Also the KRACK attack (also known as Key Reinstallation Attack) is only possible to perform on some routers using WPA 1 or WPA 2.

Creating two separate networks, one for WPA 3 and one for WPA 2, can indeed be more secure. However, it may not be the most practical solution.

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