Three types of data encryption standards for WiMAX networks

When data is transmitted and received over WiMAX Wireless infrastructure they can use many types of encryption methods below I will quickly highly 3 types of encryption standards that can be used with WiMAX.


  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 128-bit key
  • Rivest, Shamir and Adleman (RSA) with 1024-bit key
  • Triple Digital Encryption Standard (3-DES)


Both Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Triple Digital Encryption Standard (3-DES) are symmetric encryption algorithms using a block-cipher method.

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Figure 1: Symmetric-Key Encryption

Where Rivest, Shamir and Adleman (RSA) is an asymmetrical algorithm. The main difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms is that with symmetric encryption both keys are the same for encryption and decryption an unlike asymmetric encryption which uses two different keys.

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Figure 2: Asymmetric-Key Encryption

 AES with 128-bit key was developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2001 it used the Rijndael algorithm, it was designed to replace Digital Encryption Standard (DES) AES is the one of the most secure encryption standards in used today.

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Figure 3: Advanced Encryption Standard

Triple Digital Encryption Standard (3-DES) encrypts its data three times with a 56-bit key. It is not as secure as AES, as such AES meant and designed to replace 3-DES.

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Figure 4: Triple Digital Encryption Standard

RSA developed in 1977 is an asymmetrical algorithm that uses a public and a private key, one key is used to encrypt the traffic and the other key is used to decrypted. RSA is mainly used today for authentication, it can have key lengths of up to 2048 of which 1028 is the average size. Asymmetrical algorithms such’s as RSA require more CPU overhead to generate and maintain compared to Symmetrical algorithms like the ones mention.

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Figure 4: RSA Encryption

All of the encryption standards mentioned provide confidentiality by turning clear text into cipher text.

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