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    What Is A Network Security Key And How Do You Find It?

    The network security key, also known as the Wifi or Wireless network password is a code that lets you connect your computer or mobile device to a private network. The network security key is important because it protects your network from intruders. Without the key, you can’t connect to the wireless network. So keeping your network security strong is important. In this article, we will be explaining what a Network security Key is and how you can find it.

    Every secured network will have a network security key, but not every network uses the same kind of security. Here are a few examples of securities used by different networks:

    1. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy): This uses a static encryption code to encrypt data between clients. 
      • It uses a 40-bit key for encrypting the data between your router and computer. Most modern access points and routers don’t support WEP anymore because the encryption can be cracked within a minutes, which can expose your network to the hacker. 
    2. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access): This uses a unique “packet-mixing” function and integrity checks.
    3. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2): This uses a security protocol with pre-shared key (PSK) authentication.

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    How Do You Find Your Network Security Key?

    The easiest way to check which security method is enabled through your router directly. Follow these steps to do that.

    1. Log in to your home router as administrator.
    2. Menu systems vary between router brands, but most show your network SSID and network security key on the main page. If it isn’t displayed on the main screen, you can find the Wi-Fi password by finding Connection or Wi-Fi in the navigation menu. The Wi-Fi connection settings screen shows you the network security key.

    Find The Network Security Key On Your Phone

    On Android, there are several ways to locate the saved network security key. Here are the steps to follow:

    1. Install ES File Explorer and access the Root Explorer feature. 
    2. Tap “Local and Device” to see your device’s root folder. 
    3. Navigate to “misc and wifi” to see the Wi-Fi security key in the wpa_supplicant.conf file.

    Root access is required for this option.

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    1. The second option is to install an Android terminal emulator and issue the cat /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf command to view the file contents and see the network security key. 
      • Note: Root access is also required for this option.
    2. The last option is to install and connect Minimal ADB and Fastboot on your PC. Once you’re connected to your Android, you can access and view the contents of the wpa_supplicant.conf file to see your stored Wi-Fi password.
      • Note: This does not require root access.

    Using iPhone, iPad And Mac, finding your stored network security key is much easier and doesn’t require root access. Here are the steps:

    • Go to your iPhone Settings menu> iCloud> Keychain. 
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)
    • Go back to the Settings menu and enable Personal Hotspot.
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)

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    • Open the Searchlight utility on your Mac by pressing the CMD and Space keys. In the search field, type keychain access and Enter.
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)
    • Type in the name of your Wi-Fi network (the SSID), then double click on the SSID.
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)
    • Select the “Show Password” checkbox. To allow the password to be displayed, you may need to type your Mac’s admin password.
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)

    Note: On Mac OS X systems older than version 10.6.x, in the Keychains window, select All Items. Scroll through the list of network connections to find your active network.

    (Image Credit: Lifewire)

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    Find The Network Security Key On Windows

    It’s very easy to find your Wi-Fi password if you’ve already connected to the network with your Windows 10 PC. Follow these steps to find it:

    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.
    5. Click on “Wireless Properties”. 
    6. Go to the Security Tab. You will see that your password is masked, select the “Show characters” checkbox, your network security key will be revealed.
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)

    Change Your Network Security Key

    You must change the default WiFi Password (Network Security Key) when you get a new Router or Access Point.

    To do that, firstly, you need to know the IP Address of the router. You can look it up in the manual or find it on your computer. Then follow these steps to continue:

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    • Right-click on start > run > cmd, then press ” Enter”.
    • In the black command box, type “ipconfig” and press “Enter”. You will see a couple of lines, look for the line Default Gateway and the address behind it.
    (Image Credit: Lifewire)
    • Open your browser. In the address bar, type in the address that you found with ipconfig and press ” Enter”. 

    Keep Your Wi-Fi Password Safe

    It’s very easy to find your network security key from any device connected to your network. Most people do this to give the password to visitors. However, a more secure option is to create a guest wireless network for that purpose.

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