If you are wondering how to find your network security key, then we are here to help you!
Your network security key is very important because it acts to protect your network from unwanted intruders trying to get onto your network. This is why you need to keep your network safe and protected with good security measures.
Without a network key, you will be unable to connect to your wireless network to access the internet, but more importantly, without knowing your security key, no one else will be able to break into your network either!
What Is A Network Security Key?
Your network security key is your password that connects you to your network. Each router comes with a network security key that is preset, but you can change it to something different through the settings page of the device.
Most preset network passwords (security keys) read like a lot of mumbo-jumbo that makes no sense, but this is good because it makes it difficult for anyone trying to access your network to guess what your password might be.
It can be pretty common to forget your security key code for your network because most people may only enter them once or twice per year at most.
While it can make sense to change your network security key to something more memorable that makes sense to you, remember that you don't want to change it to something too simple or easy for anyone else to guess.
The Different Types Of Network Security Keys
There are a number of different network security keys in use to protect your network. These include:
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
WEP keys are among the older types of codes used to connect wireless networks. These key codes consist of a 40-bit key for encrypting the data passing between your router and your computer.
Although WEP codes are still in use with people running old tech equipment, they really should be updated because the encryptions can be easily hacked. These days most modern routers and access points no longer support WEP encryption.
WPA: (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
WPA2 and WPA3 codes are used to protect our wireless networks. Passcodes encrypted with WPA2 are much more secure than WEP keys and are harder to crack. This is helped because WPA protocol is run using temporary keys that are changed with every packet.
Finding Your Network Security Key
You may go looking for your network security key if you have just bought a new router or access point, or you may want to add another device to your existing network, but you have long forgotten the security key that allows you to do this.
If you want to add a new device to your existing network, you can find the network security key within the network settings. Each time you add a device to your network, it will store the network key so it can connect and reconnect once the network is in range.
Finding The Security Key Code On A Router
When you purchase a brand-new router or access point, it can be pretty easy to find your network security key because most manufacturers will print this on a label that is attached to either the bottom or back of the device.
The labels can be confusing and can contain different codes and serial numbers, so look for codes that are labelled as:
• Password (key)
• Wireless password
• WPA key
Finding the Network Security Key on Windows 10
If you are already running your network on Windows 10, then finding your network security key can be pretty easy. Follow these steps in Windows 10:
- Right-click on the Start Menu
- Click on Network Connections
- Scroll down and click on Network and Sharing Centre
- Click on your Wireless network
- Click on the Wireless Properties button
- Go to the Security Tab where you will see that your password is masked
- Select the 'Show characters' checkbox, and this will reveal your network security key
Finding the Network Security Key on Windows 7
For those of you still running Windows 7, you can find your network security key by following these steps:
- Click the Start button
- Click Control Panel
- Under 'Network and Internet' click 'View network status and tasks'
- On the left-hand menu, click 'Manage Wireless Networks', then locate your wireless network on the new menu
- Right-click on your wireless network and select Properties
- Click on the Security tab
- Check the box that says 'Show characters' (if it is not already checked)
- The Network security key box will display your key. You can use this same key to connect other devices to your network, such as new laptops and tablets.
Finding Your Network Security Key on a Mac
For those people running Mac computers, you can find your wireless network security key by following these steps:
- On the top of the screen, select 'Go'
- Now select 'Utilities'
- Double click on 'Keychain Access' and then click on your network from the list provided
- Check the box that says 'Show password' (you may need to enter your Mac's Administrator password to access this. Enter this and click 'Allow' to do this)
- Your network security key will display your access code. You can use this same key code to connect other devices to your network.
Hopefully, these tips we have shared with you will help you to quickly find your network security key when you need it.
Remember though that if you choose to reset your security key to something more memorable, try to make it difficult for other people to easily guess. Most people may choose to use a combination of family names and birth dates, but this information can be relatively easy for hackers to find out.
It also makes sense to regularly change your WIFI password on your home network. If you have never changed it from the default password, you should change it asap. The default wifi passwords used by most internet providers are well-known by criminals, and they will easily be able to gain access to your network by using these codes.
By doing this, you will have more control over who is using your network. It can also be good housekeeping to change your password to control how many different devices are connected to your network, such as family smartphones, laptops and tablets.
We suggest you go away and try reset your wifi password every year to ensure your network security is in good shape. Most wifi security fields these days are coded with best practice in mind, so you would be prompted to check passwords again if the network security key mismatch occurs. A little housekeeping on your wifi password and enabling wifi protected access (so only devices you want can connect to it), can go a long way in protecting your wireless network