Hotspot connections from iPhones and iPads will be secured with the updated WPA3 security protocol starting with iOS and iPadOS 15 later this fall, delivering improved security and increased protections in place to prevent password guessing.
The Wi-Fi Alliance introduced WPA3 in June 2018 with the purpose of “simplifying Wi-Fi security, enabling more robust authentication, and delivering greater cryptographic strength.” Hotspot connections from an iPhone or iPad are only encrypted with WPA2 on iOS 14, but connections will be better safeguarded with WPA3 in later this fall’s releases.
For some years, Apple’s products have been able to connect to WPA3-secured networks, but personal hotspot networks created by those devices have only supported the older and weaker WPA2 standard.
The hotspot connection experience on iOS 15 will be the same for most users; however, there are some new features. Many users continue to use simple passwords that are easily guessed, despite instructions to generate strong, complicated, and advanced passwords for hotspot connections. WPA3 is designed expressly for these scenarios, as it employs “more resilient, password-based authentication” that provides “stronger security for users against third-party password guessing attempts.”
Developers are already testing iOS and iPadOS 15, with a public beta scheduled for later this summer.