What is network security key and How to find it on your device?
A network security key is a code used to connect a device to a secured private network. The network security key serves as a security key to prevent unauthorized access to a network. But, how a network key is used and how to find it on your device? Let’s dig through the steps to find the network security key on your device including Router, iPhone, iPad, Android, Computer, Windows 11, Windows 10 etc.
What is network security key?
A network security key is a set of codes or phrases you use to join a private network by connecting your device like a computer and mobile to a network.
This key helps to network to recognize the device and allow it to use the connection. Connecting your laptop or mobile to wifi network(secured) using a security code is an example of the use of a network security key.
This not only helps you to track the devices on the network using MAC address but, also prevents hackers to access the network.
How to Find Network Security Key?
The easiest method to find a network security key is to look for the router settings or the tiny sticker at the back of your router. The settings might be different on the router from different manufacturers. However, it can also be found on all connected devices.
Follow the method below to find the network security key on different devices.
Find Network Security Key on Router
- Login to the home router as administrator.
- Here go to network security.
- Now look for the SSID configuration and network security key.
The settings may be different on your router, but it’s always named as SSID and network security key. You might need to know the default gateway to open the router login page.
Find Network Security Key on Android
On android phones you need to access the wpa_supplicant.conf to retrieve the network security key. If you have root access, you can easily reveal the key by using standard file Explorer apps like ES Explorer and others.
- Download and install ES file explorer from Play store on Android mobile.
- Now navigate to the following folder data\misc\wifi
- Here open wpa_supplicant.conf.
- This will reveal the network security key of the wifi, your Android is currently connected to.
Follow this guide to know the network security key on android without root.
Find Network Security Key on iPhone/iPad
- Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
- Tap the “i” icon next to your network.
- Copy your router’s IP address and paste it into your browser.
- Enter your router’s login credentials to see the password.
Find Network Security Key on Windows 10/11
- Open network status system settings utility from start menu(open start menu and search network status).
- Now, select Change adapter options in Network Status window.
- right-click the active Wi-Fi network adapter and select Status in Network Connections window.
- In the Wi-Fi Status window, select Wireless Properties to open the Wireless Network Properties window.
- Select Security. Then, under Network security key, select Show characters.
This method works on Windows 10 and Windows 11 identically.
Find Network Security Key on Mac
You can use the keychain access to find the network key(password)
- Open Finder and select Go > Utilities. Click Keychain Access.
- Select login, and scroll through the list of network connections to find your active network. If you don’t see the active network, select System and find the active network there.
- Under Name, select your active network.
- Under the Attributes tab, check Show password.
- Enter your Mac Administrator or Keychain password and select OK.
- Find the network password in the Show password field.
Types of Network Security Key
Based on the protocols, there are typically three types of network security keys on a network. One can easily check the type of security method used by the network by simply navigating to the settings on the device.
- WEP(Wired Equivalent Privacy)
- WPA(Wi-Fi Protected Access)
- WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)
1. WEP(Wired Equivalent Privacy)
WEP(Wired Equivalent Privacy) is one of the oldest and most used network security protocols on network devices. In incorporated in 1999 this protocol is less secure and one should upgrade if still using WEP.
2. WPA(Wi-Fi Protected Access)
Released in 2003 to address the growing vulnerabilities of its predecessor, WEP(Wi-Fi Protected Access) is more secure as compared to WEP network security protocol.
3. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)
WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) is a second-generation wireless security module adapted by modern devices. Unfortunately, like it’s predecessor, WPA2-enabled access points (usually routers) are vulnerable to attacks through WEP.
Read here: Wif Security: WEP vs WPA vs WPA2
How do I find my network security key without an internet connection?
Finding the network security key doesn’t require an internet connection. You can use any device to check the key by simply connecting the device to the network.
Why do you need Network Security?
A network security key adds an extra layer to network security by protecting it from unauthorized access. This not only secures the bandwidth(on a paid data plan) but also prevents any unethical practices on the network.
Using network security is always advisable as an open network can allow anyone to log in to the network and access the files and data stored on the workgroup.
Network security key mismatch
To join the network you need to have the correct network security key. In case of the wrong key, you might get the Network Security Key Mismatch error while trying to connect. Here are few other reasons that may trigger the Network security key mismatch error;
In most cases, a Wrong password is a primary reason to get a Network Security Key Mismatch error. Make sure you are typing the right keys in the right pattern and cases as the key is case-sensitive. It’s always a better idea to simply copy and paste the key to avoid mistakes.
Device is not compatible:
Some older devices using the WEP or WPA module might not be able to connect to the WPA2 security and hence end up showing Network Security Key Mismatch error. In such make sure to recheck the device manual for supported network modules.
Error With Router or access point:
A router or access point will occasionally simply hang. A fast reboot (pull the plug) of the router may resolve the problem.
Even if the device is up-to-date and you are using the correct network key, you can still get the network key mismatch error. In such, you can reset the router and try reconnecting.
Network Security Key-FAQ
What is Network Security?
The main objective of network security is to provide a secure connection and protect it from unauthorized usage. The major security protocols are WEP, WPA and WPA2.
What are the network security types?
There are three components of network security, which are Hardware, Software and Cloud services.
What are the Network Security threats and attacks?
Based on recent reports, deletion and alteration of data, information theft and fraud, viruses like trojan horse, password Cracking, (DOS) attacks are name of few.
A network security key is used to join a private network like wifi or hotspot or homegroup. This prevents hackers from accessing the network by providing an extra layer of security where a device needs to enter the security key to join the available network in the range. There are typically three different types of secured network keys; WEP, WPA and WPA2 with different protocols.
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