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The main purpose of this study is to investigate how to provide authentication in wireless sensor networks and how it can be done in an energy efficient way. Other goals are to give an introduction to general security in wireless sensor networks and to see how the addition of message authentication codes (MAC) of various lengths affects the lifetime of a sensor node. To do this, a study of security solutions with focus on key establishment schemes that enable authentication and practical tests on the energy consumption depending on MAC length are performed. The conclusion from the study of security solutions is that symmetric cryptography is to prefer over public key cryptography.