This article will go through which devices support WPA-2 Enterprise.
Table of Contents:
What is WPA2-Enterprise?
Since it was released in 2004, WPA2-Enterprise has been considered the gold standard for wireless network security, delivering high-level Wi-Fi security and over-the-air encryption.
Using WPA2-Enterprise-level encryption has a number of advantages that make it a good choice for a large company or enterprise networks, such as eliminating the security risks of shared passwords, enhanced security, and authentication methods and controls, the ability to dynamically assign VLANs and support for Network Access Protection (NAP).
To understand WPA2-Enterprise better, check out this video by House of I.T. which explains it very well.
Which devices support WPA2-Enterprise?
Put simply, many devices have the native ability to support WPA2-Enterprise. WPA2 replaced WPA in September 2004, and from March 2006 WPA2 certification was made mandatory for all new devices to bear the WiFi trademark.
But what do you need to look for when choosing a device? When looking at the specifications of a device, you'll rarely see anything about WPA2-Enterprise. What you should instead by looking for is if the device has support for WiFi 802.11 b, g, n or ac. WPA2-Enterprise uses IEEE 802.1X, which is supported by most WiFi 802.11 b, g, n and ac devices, but not devices that only support WiFi 802.11a, which basically means almost every device you look at will be good to go. Devices with wired connections that support 802.1X also support WPA2-Enterprise.
That's not to say that all devices that natively support WPA2-Enterprise do. Some device manufacturers have chosen not to implement WPA2-Enterprise on specific devices that they feel are designed for personal use only. Some examples of this are the ASUS Chromebox, Amazon Fire TV Sticks, various Android Smart TVs where the manufacturers have chosen not to implement WPA2-Enterprise on these specific devices.
It's also important to note your use case. Most operating systems support WPA2-Enterprise in standard mode as they support a use case where you want to connect to an enterprise network, but they may not support WPA2-Enterprise setups in kiosk mode, which is often necessary for digital signage use cases. Chrome OS supports WPA2-Enterprise in standard mode, but not in kiosk mode. Windows 10 supports WPA2-Enterprise in standard mode but needs a Pro, Enterprise or Education license in order to use kiosk mode. So make sure you check things like this as well.
Instead of getting devices designed for personal use, it's best to get devices that are designed for enterprise use like the Intel Compute Stick or Intel NUCs, which runs Windows or the Chromebox Commercial.
Talk to a sales representative from the device manufacturer you intend on buying devices from and ask them directly about your network requirements.
Also, make sure to choose a good IT service provider or technician to set up your WPA2-Enterprise level network who have a good understanding of the standard and its complexities and can help you deploy it successfully across your devices. Sometimes, setting up a separate network that is not at such a high level as WPA2-Enterprise specifically for your digital signage devices could be the best solution. WPA2-Enterprise is very much eliminating security risks and data security, something that does not really apply to digital signage devices. If you set up an additional network setup with a different security level, your device choices will be much wider.
If you have any additional questions on which devices support WPA2-Enterprise, or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.