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Wireless sensor networking continues to evolve as one of the most exciting and challenging research areas of our time. Intrinsically, there are many applications of wireless sensor networks that collect and disseminate sensitive and important information. In order for many implementations of these applications to operate successfully, it is necessary to maintain the privacy and security of the transmitted data. What remains undefined, however, is an agreeable and most effective way of securing the information. This paper considers popular and progressive security architectures available and used to-date, whilst focusing on authentication. Authentication can be defined as a security mechanism, the use of which allows the identity of a node in the network to be identified as a valid node of the network. Data authenticity can be achieved when a valid node decrypts the appended message authentication code, or applies one to an outgoing packet, using some known/shared key. Node authentication can be achieved using a number of different methods. A comparison table is presented which illustrates the various properties held by these security protocols, including authentication characteristics. This will allow the desirable characteristics of the various security architectures to be easily identifiable to designers in their struggle to implement the most cost effective and appropriate method of securing their network.