Microsoft has added support for Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) - the highest level of commercial wireless security currently available - to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Available as a free download, the update provides enterprises, mobile workers and home users with a new level of protection from wireless threats.
Support for the Wi-Fi Alliance standard, said Microsoft, will also enable many government agencies, healthcare providers and security-related industries to deploy wireless networks for the first time, as a result of the extra protection offered.
"For wireless computing to continue growing, consumers and enterprises need to trust that their information is safe and secure when accessed on these networks," said Jawad Khaki, Microsoft corporate vice president of Windows networking and device technologies.
"This update underscores Microsoft's commitment to improving security as we enable our customers to help protect their wireless networks using the latest available standards," he said.
WPA2 confirms that a PC's wireless software is compatible with IEEE 802.11i, the security standard developed specifically for Wi-Fi networks. Building on the protection of the earlier Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) specification, the new Wi-Fi Alliance standard offers advanced data encryption.
The update can be downloaded here: