What is a Network Security Key

The network security key is better known as the Wifi or Wireless network password. This is the password that you use to connect to a wireless network. Each access point or router comes with a preset network security key that you can change in the settings page of the device.

Now it’s pretty common to forget the security key of your wireless network. Most default keys are not easy to remember and you only enter them ones or twice a year.

In this article, I will explain where you can find your network security key on your router, access point or computer (if you already have a connection) and how you can change it.


Finding your Network Security Key

There are different scenarios when you are looking for the key for the wireless network. You just bought a new router or access point or you want to give another device (mobile phone or computer) access to an existing wireless network but you don’t remember you key any more.

If you have a device that is already connected to the wireless network then you can find the key in the network settings. Each device that is connected to a wireless networks stores the key so it can reconnect automatically when the network comes into range.

Finding the key on a new Router or Access Point

If you have a new router or access point then the preset wireless network key can most of the time be found on a label on the bottom or back of the device. Unfortunately, each manufacturer is using a different label for it, but look for a key that is labelled with one of the following (similar) phases:

  • Password (key)
  • Wireless password
  • WPA key

You will find it close the (Wireless) Network Name. Use this key to connect to your wireless network. Now it’s important to change the default key, so make sure you continue reading this article.

If you have ever changed the key of your wireless network and you don’t have a device that is connected to the network, then your only option is to look the password up in the router or access point self. Follow these steps to recover the key.

Finding the Network Security Key on Windows 10

In Windows 10 is it pretty easy to view the wireless network security key. Just follow these steps:

  1. Right click on the Start Menu (a context menu will appear)
  2. Click on Network Connections
  3. Scroll down and click on Network and Sharing Center
  4. Click on your Wireless network (starting with Wi-Fi)
  5. Click on the Wireless Properties button
  6. Go to the Security Tab. You will see that your password is masked
  7. Select the “Show characters” checkbox, your network security key will be revealed.
Network Security Key

Finding the wifi password on a Mac

Also on a Mac you can find the key pretty easy.

  1. Click on the search icon (magnifying glass)
  2. Search for Keychain Access
  3. In the Keychain Access screen search in the top right corner for you Wifi network
  4. Double click on your network
  5. Select the Show Password checkbox
  6. You need to enter the password of your Mac

Change your WiFi password

It is important that you change the default WiFi Password when you get a new Router or Access Point. Your wireless network is broadcasted to everyone that is range of your device, so a strong password is important.

Now every router or access point is different. But I will provide you some of the first steps to login to your router and give you a general direction.

First, we need to know the IP Address of the router. 90% of the routers have the following address: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. You can look it up in the manual or find it with your computer. Right click on start > select run and type cmd <enter>.

Network range

In the black command box type ipconfig and press <enter>. You will see a couple of lines, we are looking for the the line Default Gateway and the address behind it.

  1. Open your browser and type 192.168.0.1 (or the address that you found with ipconfig) in the address bar and press enter
  2. You will see the login page of the router. Find the login credentials in the manual (links below)
  3. Find a page with Wireless, Wireless Security or Wireless Settings
  4. Select WPA atleast, but the best encryption is WPA2.
  5. Change the passphrase, key or password of the wireless network to something strong (atleast 10 characters, a symbol and number)
  6. Reconnect your devices with the new password.

Router manuals / instructions

Netgear
TP-Link
D-Link
Asus

Conclusion

I hope this article helpt finding your network security key. Always make sure you use a strong and unique password for your wireless network. If you want to know more about setting up your home network, make sure you check this article.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below.

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4 thoughts on “What is a Network Security Key”

  1. I have a “tower” computer (desk) My husband has a “laptop”. Do we have the same Security Password? Where do we find it?

  2. I have a brand new laptop that I have never connected to the router in my home.
    The problem tmy landlord upstairs in his apartment has the router.
    My laptop is asking me for the “network security key”

    Do I find this information physically written on the router itself?
    I’m not the smartest guy so please dumb it down for me.
    No internet, no network security key.
    Thank you

    • Yes, you would need to ask your landlord for the security key. It’s written down on the device.

      Are you the only tenant in the building? Other wise you might be able to get the network security key from a connected device from another tenant.

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