With such a huge variety of passwords and accounts to memorize to function on the internet, it’s no wonder so many people forget their wireless network keys. There are a variety of ways to find your security key, ranging from very quick and simple to somewhat more complex and difficult. If you currently have a connection to the network through any device but don’t have the security key, the video directly below may be of much use to you. Before we get started, however, I want to overview a few possibilities that may help this process. If you don’t have network connection, but you have either physical access to the router and ability to connect through ethernet cables, you should directly skip to the, “Connecting to the Router Configuration Page” video. If you haven’t ever personally set up your router there may be a sticker or code underneath the router or in the user’s manual with the default settings to drastically speed up the process. Let the troubleshooting begin!
Finding Your Security Key (If You Have Network Connection)
For those of you who either prefer text to video, or can’t load the video but are still asking the question, “how do I find my network security key?” I will give simple step by step instructions to assist you.
- Open Your Start Menu
- Click Control Panel
- Type in the address box, “Network Connections”
- At this point you will likely see a variety of network connections; double-click on the network with that you wish to find the WiFi security key for
- Click “Wireless Properties”
- Click on the Security Tab
- Check “Show Characters,”
- In the box directly above with the label “Network Security Key” is your WiFi password!
- Give yourself a big pat on the back, you found it — this step is necessary.
Connecting to the Router Configuration Page This method is useful if you don’t currently have wireless network connection but have the ability to directly connect to your router and haven’t changed your factor defaults in connecting to your router configuration page. This method works for most routers, however, this may not apply to all. I will outline the basic steps below.
- Directly connect your computer into your router through a hardwire ethernet cable.
- Find out what router brand and model you are using, this should be easy upon inspection of the physical device; some of the most common are Linksys, Belkin and Netgear.
- Visit http://www.routerpasswords.com/ and find your model factor default username and password, for instance, with most Netgear models the username is ‘admin’ and the password is ‘password’.
- Once you have found your model’s default username and password, in the address bar of any browser window (Firefox, Chrome,Internet explorer) visit 192.168.0.1 OR 192.168.1.1. These IP addresses vary depending on how your router was set up.
- If at this point you still cannot log in, visit the guide below on how to reset your router. If the default username and password work, you will enter into your router setup page.
- At this point you can enter “Wireless Settings” (exact title depends on the individual router) and you can find your network security key. From here you also have a variety of other options such as changing the key and/or the WEP or WPA encryption.
Resetting Your Router If after all of this, you haven’t been able to find your wifi security key the only option left is to reset your router. Resetting the router is something that can only be done with physical access to the router. There is typically a reset button that you hold for around 30 seconds, or a very small pin-hole type reset button that you will need a paperclip or toothpick to access. Every router is different in this area, however, you can find useful information online or in your user’s manual for you specific model. Resetting your router will erase all data and you will have to reprogram it yourself. You can do this by following the steps mentioned above for accessing your control panel and setting up your wireless connection on your own computer. Congratulations, you did it! This time, don’t forget to write your password down to avoid another network security key mismatch again