WPA3-Supported Devices

Delve into the world of WPA3-supported devices. Learn about the compatibility aspect of this advanced security protocol so that you can enhance your network’s safety and privacy.

As the latest wireless security protocol, WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3) is designed to improve the safety and privacy of the networks we all depend on so much these days. The protocol provides enhanced encryption, forward secrecy, protection against brute-force attacks, and an easier setup process.

But even though WPA3 became mandatory for all new WiFi certifications in 2020, its support still raises many questions. Let’s answer one of the most common concerns by exploring what devices support WPA3.

TP Link Archer AX21

TP-Link Archer AX21

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Netgear WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852)

Netgear Orbi (tri-band, AX6000)

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Logo Asus ax5700

Asus RT-AX86U

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Are All Devices Compatible With WPA3?

In an ideal world, every wireless device would be compatible with the latest wireless security protocol soon after its release. The sad reality is that we don’t live in an ideal world because the number of WPA-3 compatible devices is still not as high as it should be.

So, what devices support WPA3, and what devices don’t? Let’s break it down:

  • Unsupported devices released before 2018: You would be hard-pressed to find an unsupported device released before 2018 that supports WPA3 because the official certification process began in June 2018.

  • Supported devices released before 2018: Many manufacturers that do actually support their products after release have provided firmware updates to enable WPA3 compatibility on their devices. So, some supported devices released before 2018 do support WPA3.

  • Devices released after 2018: Devices released after 2018 are more likely to support WPA3. That’s because manufacturers always race to introduce the latest features and improvements in their products, ensuring they stay competitive in the market.

  • Devices released after 2020: Since WPA3 became mandatory for all new WiFi certifications in 2020, almost all devices released after this year should support the advanced security protocol by default.

If you’re not sure whether your device can support WPA3, then you can use a wireless analyzer like NetSpot or check the device’s specifications, settings, or user manual.

Can WPA2 Devices Connect to WPA3?

Because WPA3 is backward-compatible with devices that only support WPA2, older client devices that don’t support the advanced security protocol can still communicate with newer routers without any issues through a transitional mode called WPA2/WPA3 mixed-mode.

What devices support WPA3?

Even at the time of writing this article, not all WiFi routers available on the market support WPA3. Fortunately, it’s easy to tell which do support the standard because all 802.11ax WiFi systems are required to ship with WPA3 Personal and WPA3 Enterprise support.

All WiFi 6 routers are also WPA3 routers, and the same goes for other WPA3 devices — if they’re WiFi 6-certified, then WPA3 security will be enabled. Here are our top 3 picks for the best WPA3 routers.

СHOICE #1
LOGO TP-LINK
TP-Link Archer AX21
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The TP-Link Archer AX21 is one of the best routers with WPA3 that don’t cost an arm and a leg. The router is equipped with dual-band WiFi 6 connectivity for fast speeds of up to 1.8 Gbps and great coverage even in areas with lots of interference.

TP-Link Archer AX21

The rear side of the router is home to 4 Gigabit LAN ports and a single USB port that allows for easy file sharing. You can effortlessly set up the router using the TP-Link Tether app, which can also be used to include it in a whole-home mesh WiFi network.

Pros and Cons
  • Affordable
  • Great performance
  • Superb value
  • Lacks advanced features
СHOICE #2
Logo Netgear
Netgear Orbi (tri-band, AX6000)
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If you’re looking for the most powerful WPA3-certified routers currently available, then you should consider the tri-band version of the popular Netgear Orbi mesh Wi-Fi system. Capable of reaching speeds of up to 6 Gbps and covering up to 5,000 sq. ft. with a strong signal, the router is powerful enough to connect dozens of WPA3-supported devices to the internet.

Netgear WiFi 6 System AX6000 (RBK852)

Being a mesh WiFi system, the Netgear Orbi can be easily extended with additional satellite units to cover an even larger area with a seamless network. Of course, a router of this caliber isn’t cheap, but it’s well-worth the price if you live in a large house.

Pros and Cons
  • Leading performance
  • Simple setup
  • Supports three WiFi bands
  • Expensive
СHOICE #3
Logo ASUS
Asus RT-AX86U
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Designed to meet the needs of serious gamers, the Asus RT-AX86U is as powerful as it is bulky. This WiFi 6 router is compatible with all WPA3 devices, and it can deliver true 2 Gbps wired and wireless speeds by aggregating multiple connections.

Asus RT-AX86U AX5700 Router

All owners of the Asus RT-AX86U get to enjoy the ASUS AiProtection Pro home network security suite for superior protection against online threats. The suite even includes advanced parental controls to help parents control how much time their kids spend online.

Pros and Cons
  • Advanced features and customization options
  • Lifetime security software
  • Impressive performance
  • Bulky design

How to configure a router to use WPA3

It’s usually easy to configure a router to WPA3 protection, and the steps you need to follow tend to go something like this:

  • Log in to your router’s admin interface. Most routers can be accessed by entering a specific IP address into the URL bar of your web browser, but some are administered exclusively via companion smartphone apps.

TP-Link admin interface
  • Go to the Settings section and look for Wireless settings. Depending on which WPA3 router you have, it might be necessary to enable WPA3 protection for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band separately.

TP-Link Wireless Settings section
  • Find the wireless security option and set it to WPA3-Personal if you’re a regular home user. Business users should use WPA3-Enterprise instead. Save the settings and wait for your router to restart.

TP-Link WPA3 Personal

After setting up a new WPA3 router, you should use a wireless network analyzer like NetSpot to verify your security settings and create a detailed coverage map to see all areas of signal weakness.

Wifi Heatmap

You can then use the gathered information to optimize the configuration and placement of your router to achieve the best performance possible.

Conclusion

As unfortunate as it is, devices that support WPA3 are still not ubiquitous. While the number of WPA3-compatible devices is increasing by the day, many older devices, particularly those released before 2018, still don’t support this advanced security protocol. If your own device is among them, then we recommend you consider upgrading as soon as possible. Your wireless security is worth the investment.

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FAQ
Are all devices WPA3 compatible?

No, not all devices are WPA3 compatible. Older devices, especially those released before 2018, which is when the Wi-Fi Alliance announced WPA3 as a replacement for WPA2, don’t support this advanced security protocol. Unfortunately, such devices are still widely used.

What devices don't work with WPA3?

Devices released before 2018 and newer devices without firmware updates for WPA3 support don’t work with the advanced security protocol.

How do I know if my device is using WPA3?

You can find out if your WiFi router is using WPA3 with the help of a wireless analyzer like NetSpot. You can also check the device’s specifications, settings, or user manual for information about WPA3 support.

Should I enable WPA3 on my router?

Yes, if your router supports WPA3, then you should absolutely enable it to take advantage of its protection against brute-force attacks, improved encryption, forward secrecy, and a streamlined setup process.

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