Network Security Key Mismatch: What It Is & How To Fix

Although they do the same job, wireless routers are not the same. However, they all can give you a same network security key mismatch error message. It’s relatively simple to understand – your router is looking for a certain string of characters as the password, and it’s receiving something other than that, thus prompting an error.

Network Security Key Mismatch error message

Fixing the network security key mismatch error is relatively simple. We’ve listed the fixes below, rated easiest to most complicated. Start with #1, and move down the list until your problem is solved.

The simplest way to fix this error if you are in a hurry is to connect your device using a network cable. By doing this you won’t have to enter the network key, but if you are trying to access the network using your tablet or smartphone the network cable won’t help you.

Fix #1 – Making sure that you’re entering the password correctly

Your router is looking for an exact password – not one that’s “close enough”. Make sure that you check for the following missteps…

  • You forgot to capitalize a letter – WiFi passwords are CaSe SenSiTiVe
  • You typed “O” instead of “0” – if you have your key written down somewhere, make sure that you’re reading it correctly

If you’re positive that you’re entering the key correctly, try restarting your router. It can’t hurt, and it often fixes the problem.

Okay, still not working? Proceed to fix #2.

Fix #2 – Make sure your version of WiFi is supported

In some cases the network security key mismatch message will appear although the network key is accurate. The reasons for this is that the router is not accepting signals from your type of WiFi, and because of that, it isn’t able to receive the signal from your device that contains the network key.

Your router may use a specific WiFi type – 802.11B, 802.11G, 802.11N and so on. The specifics of these WiFi types aren’t not important now for the problem we have; however, you have to be aware that that if your device isn’t using the same type of WiFi, then you won’t be able to connect.

To fix this you have to change the WiFi type by logging into the router and finding the specific setting. The interface is different depending on the router brand and model, so we can’t specify the exact location of this setting, but we are sure you won’t have any problems finding it. In case you can’t find it, you can contact your router manufacturer’s support.

Fix #3 – Reset your router, create a new key, delete the network, reboot computer and try again

If just resetting the router in fix #1 didn’t work, you’re going to have to reset the entire system.

  1. Log into your router and reset it from the dashboard – just clicking the reset button on the hardware will reset the router itself, but not the overall network
  2. Create a new network name, and a new network security key when prompted – make sure you write this one down legibly!
  3. Go to your computer and delete the network temporarily – on Windows machines, you can find your networks in the Network and Sharing Center
  4. Restart your computer
  5. Connect to your network, and this time, use the new security key. (If the network doesn’t pop up, try to manually connect to it by typing out the name. It may be hidden because you deleted it before.)

If you can connect to the router with your network cable but are still struggling to fix the network security key mismatch error after you have tried the fixes given above, then there may be something wrong with the router itself. Make sure to take note of any blinking error lights, and if nothing helps, contact the support and sit through the wait until someone can help you with it.

Good luck!

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