Possible Duplicate:
If I use free WiFi in a hotspot, can data be easily sniffed?

Let's say I am browsing an HTTP accessible web site (i.e. NOT HTTPS) , is the traffic encrypted through the WiFi connection?

In other words, is there "data privacy" functionality over WiFi regardless of higher layer protocols?


2 Answers 2


Your traffic is encrypted if the routers setting allow it. This can be WEP, WPA, WPA2. However with all of these the key is known by everyone on the network so it is possible to decrypt the traffic.


Basically, if the Wi-Fi connection has WPA/WPA2 security, no: even if the key is public each device has its own "channel".

But if the network is unsecured (or WEP, which amounts to the same thing, since it's easily broken), yes.

  • Channel? I never heard about it this way. You mean that every device on the same network uses different radio frequency or? I never did packet capturing but I was under the impression that this can be done on any kind of network.
    – user13391
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 15:08
  • Not a separate radio frequency, no. I presume Renan meant that different keys are used for each user (though I don't know the details of the protocols enough to confirm that).
    – mc0e
    Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 4:55

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .