Taking Wi-Fi -- And Wi-Fi Security -- to a New Level

Olga Kharif

This morning, Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry association, announced its Wi-Fi Protected Setup certification program. It's game-changing, I think.

What it is: Today, when you buy a home Wi-Fi router, you have to go through a pretty complex set-up to enable network security. In fact, studies show that two in five consumers end up never enabling security at all. That's why we have war driving, where unauthorized people tap into others' Wi-Fi networks. That's how some people have their identities and important documents stolen.

Enter this new certification. All Wi-Fi routers and Wi-Fi-enabled devices complying with this certification with enable Wi-Fi network security automatically. So when you buy a complying laptop, a Wi-Fi phone or a router, security will be enabled, without any help from you. This week, the Alliance plans to announce a slew of manufacturers that will implement this feature.

We all know that Wi-Fi set-up is much more complicated than it needs to be, and this is another step in fixing that problem. I think this feature will ease some consumers' worries about getting Wi-Fi and, ultimately, help increase Wi-Fi adoption. Now if we could only make the rest of Wi-Fi router set-up easier, too....

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.