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Solving WPA3 problems: This is how the WLAN connection works


If the switch to WPA3 does not go as smoothly as expected, these practical tips will help.

Actually, little should change in the WLAN if you use the new WPA3 security standard: Select this encryption for a connection and enter the appropriate password.

In practice, however, there are many problems: Sometimes some devices can no longer access the WLAN after you have switched to WPA3. Or new WLAN clients do not use the encryption, although they should actually support the standard. These tips will help with WPA3 problems.

WPA3:

How to make your WLAN fit for the new standard

No more connection with WPA2 device

If switching to WPA3 causes problems, you should check the wireless settings. First check whether you have only activated the WPA3 method in the router, for example with the option “WPA3-Personal”, “WPA3-SAE” or “WPA3-Personal only”. If this is the case, no device that only understands WPA2 will be able to connect: In this case, the client recognizes the network based on the SSID, but does not allow a connection because, for example, there is no option to enter a password. In Windows 10, you may immediately receive the message “Connection is not possible” below the network name.

Fritzbox note: If you have activated WPA3, there may be connection problems to certain WLAN clients - even in mixed mode, which also allows WPA2.

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Fritzbox note: If you have activated WPA3, there may be connection problems to certain WLAN clients – even in mixed mode, which also allows WPA2.

However, even when transition mode is activated, some devices can cause problems. Then you first need to check whether a wireless client that cannot connect is a WPA2 or WPA3 device. If a WPA2 client cannot establish a WLAN connection after switching the router to “WPA2 + WPA3”, although it has always worked with the WPA2 method before, it is due to the PMF (Protected Management Frames) function. PMF is mandatory for WPA3 and is therefore also active in transition mode: However, some older WLAN devices have problems with PMF and cannot connect in this case. You must therefore switch back to “WPA2” in the router if you want this device to be connected to WLAN – you will then not be able to use the WPA3 method for other clients either. By the way, with a Fritzbox you can check whether there are devices in your network that do not support PMF before you switch to WPA3. To do this, go to “WLAN -> Security” in the router menu and the “Additional security settings” section: There, mark the entry “Enable support for protected logins (PMF)”. If a WLAN connection no longer works with certain clients, they are not suitable for PMF and therefore also not suitable for the mixed operation of WPA3 and WPA2.

WPA3 device does not use the new standard

With some Android smartphones, you must first delete the saved WLAN profile before using WPA3 for the connection.

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With some Android smartphones, you must first delete the saved WLAN profile before using WPA3 for the connection.

With WPA3 devices it can happen that, despite the activated WPA3 / WPA2 mixed method, they still only use WPA2 for encryption. In this case you have to delete the entry for this WLAN on the WLAN client, because the client then always uses the saved settings instead of renegotiating the encryption with the router.

In Windows 10, go to “Network and Internet -> WLAN” in the settings and click on “Manage known networks”. Then go to your WLAN and select the “Do not save” option. With an Android smartphone, click in the WLAN settings – usually found under “Network & Internet”, on the name of your WLAN and then on the “Remove” option. Under iOS, go to “WLAN” in the settings and click on the blue info for the relevant network

Button to the right of the WLAN symbol. In the next menu select “Ignore this network”. If you reconnect to the WLAN after deleting, you will have to enter the password again. Then the client should now be connected via WPA3.

Tip:

Establish a secure WLAN connection with WPA3

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