The What, Why, and How of Wi-Fi Easy Connect
Wi-Fi Easy Connect is a new way to connect for WPA2 and WPA3 networks, which was introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2018. It simplifies the connection of Wi-Fi devices, especially for those with limited or no user interfaces, while still maintaining high security standards.
Why You Need Wi-Fi Easy Connect
Before going deep into Wi-Fi Easy Connect, think about the process of connecting your smartphone to a Wi-Fi network: you need to find the Wi-Fi network (SSID) on the smartphone and enter the Wi-Fi password carefully. What about adding devices with limited or no user interfaces like smart plugs and printers? Different vendors have different methods, but one thing is for sure: it’s way more complex than adding a smartphone.
The traditional Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) seems to be the solution. It allows you to add a client to an access point’s Wi-Fi network by tapping a physical button on the access point and client (as the following figure shows). However, this has turned out to be an insecure feature that could make your Wi-Fi network more vulnerable to attacks.
Wi-Fi Easy Connect was developed to solve all these problems. It’s an enhancement of WPS, providing the following key benefits:
- Simplifies the process of provisioning devices through the use of QR codes, especially for those with little or no user interface
- Ensures authentication security via public key cryptography
- Provides a standardized, consistent method for onboarding devices – devices from different vendors can be configured in the same way
- Supports provisioning for WPA2 and WPA3 networks
- Enables the replacement of APs without the need to re-add all devices to the new AP
How Wi-Fi Easy Connect Simplifies the Connection of Wi-Fi Devices
When Can I Get Easy Connect?
Wi-Fi Easy Connect has not yet hit the mainstream, but more and more vendors are adding support for it in their Wi-Fi products. Let’s look forward to its public adoption and enjoy the benefits it’ll bring us.
Wi-Fi Easy Connect was originally one part of WPA3 but was later taken out as a separate certification program.If you would like to know more about WPA3, you can check out our article, What Is WPA3? Is It “100%” Safe?