There are many other names for the network security key like WEP or WPA key, WiFi password or a passphrase. So in simple words it is the key or password which allows you to connect to your wireless network. The following guide will help you learn how to find your current network security key.
It is quite useful if you use a complicated wireless password and can’t remember it when needed, or to check it if your PC gives you a network security key mismatch error message.
Please note that it is good to make sure that your laptop or desktop PC is connected to your router with an Ethernet cable if you plan to make any changes. Also to do this part wirelessly, your laptop has to be part of the network, otherwise it won’t work.
How to find the network security key?
There are two simple ways in which you can find your wireless security key. It is either via the Control panel or via the router settings page.
From your Windows desktop In Windows 7
1. Take a look at the wireless network icon next to the clock.
2. Left-click this icon to see the list of available wireless networks. Right click on your own and select Properties.
3. The Wireless network properties window will open.
4. Check the Show characters box to see the current wireless key.
You can also watch the steps described above in this short video.
In the wireless router settings
If you choose to find your wireless network key in this way you have to make sure to have router default IP address, username and password.
1. Login to your wireless router. If you don’t know how to do this check Step 4 in this article.
2. Once you are in, chances are you will see your network security key in the Quick Setup page.
If it isn’t there, go to Wireless > Wireless Security
The images shown above are from a Cisco router, but the principle is the same for other router brands and models, just look for terms like Wireless Setup, Wireless Security or Security somewhere in the menu.
How to change the Network Security Key?
Now when you know how to find your network security key, you can change it in the router settings if you want. The only thing you have to take care here is to make the change on a PC or laptop which is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable. If you try to make these changes wirelessly, you will be logged out when you want to save the changes which may cause some problems.