HP Enhances Wireless Security for Handhelds

By James Alan Miller

August 17, 2004

Two iPAQ models now have ROM updates that deliver Wi-Fi Protected Access.

Hewlett-Packard, the top selling Pocket PC vendor, recently made two ROM updates available to its customers -- one for the iPAQ h4150, and the other for the iPAQ h4350.

Handheld vendors release software patches known as ROM updates to address bugs and add functionality to their products after release. Since a patch becomes part of a device's ROM, it can survive power drains and hard resets.

Most significantly, as HP did with an earlier patch for the iPAQ h5555, the ROM updates for the h4150 and h4350 deliver Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) to the handhelds. Created by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the non-profit group that certifies interoperability of wireless LAN products based on the IEEE 802.11 specification, WPA is a standard to improve wireless network security.

WPA does this by enhancing the security features of Wired Equivalent Privacy, also known as WEP. WPA works with existing Wi-Fi products, such as the HP Pocket PCs, that have been enabled with WEP (i.e., as a software upgrade to existing hardware), while bringing better data encryption and user authentication to the table.

Reprinted from PocketPCcity.


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