How to Find Your Network Security Key?

Network security keys are essential for protecting your wireless network and keeping the data on it private.


In this guide, we’ll help you understand what a network security key is, its types, and how to find and create/change it. 

What is a Network Security Key?

A network security key is used as a means of protection for your wireless network. It’s basically an encryption-protected password that uses one of the following standards: WEP, WPA, WPA2, or WPA3.


For a user to connect to a wireless network, they must know the Wi-Fi password and the encryption method used.  


If you have a new router, it should come with a pre-assigned network security key that consists of numbers, special characters, and letters. You can change it later from your router’s admin page. 

Why Do You Need Network Security?

Here’s why using network security is important:

  • Keeps your network secure.
  • Maintains data availability and accessibility.
  • Provides access controls for protection from unauthorized users and authentication.
  • Prevents cybersecurity threats from affecting the network.

Types of Network Security Keys

There are 4 types of network security keys that include:

1. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)

The oldest and least secure wireless security technology. It’s rarely used today because it’s not reliable. 

2. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)

The WPA protocol is the successor to WEP, providing additional security. However, it’s still considered obsolete by modern standards. 

3. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)

WPA2 is one of the most commonly used wireless network protocols. It integrates AES encryption to keep your internet data secure. 

4. WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3)

WPA3 is the latest encryption protocol, incorporating AES-256 encryption and an advanced initial key exchange procedure. It’s only supported by devices released in 2020 or later. 

How to Create a Strong Network Security Key?

To create a strong network security key, make it long and hard to guess. Ideally, you should use a combination of numbers, special characters, and upper and lower case letters. Avoid using obvious network security keys like your birthday, apartment number, or any other date format passwords.

Finding your Network Security Key

The steps to find your network security key vary depending on your device’s platform and router model and manufacturer.

How To Find the Network Security Key From Your Wi-Fi Router?

If your router is new, you should be able to find the default network security key on the back of the router. If you can’t find it, check the user’s manual or contact the manufacturer.

How to Find the Network Security Key on Windows?

1. From the Taskbar, right-click the network icon.

2. Choose “Network & Internet” settings.

3. Tap on connections.

4. Under “active networks”, select connections.

5. Under the Wi-Fi status tab, select Wireless Properties.

6. From the Security tab, tap on the “show character” checkbox; you should now see your network security key.

How to Find the Network Security Key on macOS?

1. Click the magnifying glass (search) icon.

2. Search for  “Keychain Access” settings.

3. Locate your Wi-Fi network on the Keychain Access page.

4. Double-click on your network and tick the “Show Password” checkbox.

5. Input your Mac password and you should see your network security key. 

How to Find and Change the Network Security Key From the Wi-Fi Admin Panel?

1. Log into your router’s admin panel (varies by manufacturer) from any browser.

2. On the homepage, you should see your network security key. If not, proceed to the next step.

3. Look in the settings menu for “Wi-Fi”, “Connection”, or other similar options.

4. Once you find where your Wi-Fi settings are located, you should be able to see your network security key and change it.

What is my Hotspot Password?

The Hotspot Password is the password other users need to enter to be able to connect to your device’s hotspot. To find or change your hotspot password, you must access your device’s hotspot settings.

Finding Your Hotspot Network Security Key on Android

On an Android device, you can locate your hotspot network security key by installing Minimal ADB and Fastboot on your PC. Then, connect your phone with a USB cable and find the wpa_supplicant.conf file to see your hotspot’s network security key.


Alternatively, if you have root access, you can just install a file explorer app like ES File Explorer on your phone and find the network security key from Local > Device.

Finding Your Hotspot Network Security Key on iOS

To find your hotspot network security key on iOS, you must have a Mac computer. Here’s how to do it:

1. Go to Settings.

2. Under “iCloud”, select Keychain.

3. Go back to Settings and turn on “Personal Hotspot” from “Celular”.

4. Connect your Mac to your iPhone’s mobile hotspot.

5. Press the CMD and Space keys simultaneously to launch the Searchlight utility.

6. Input “keychain access” into the search bar and press Enter.

7. Enter the name of your Wi-Fi network.

8. Tick the “Show Password” checkbox and type your Mac’s admin password to see the network security key.

Network Security Key Mismatch and How to Fix it?

Network Security Key Mismatch error means you’re using the wrong password. M. Two common reasons why you might be getting this error are:

  • The device is incompatible.
  • The password is wrong.

If you have an old device, there’s a good chance it doesn’t support WPA2, the most common encryption standard used today. You might also think you’ve typed the correct password, but try double-checking your input while making sure you’re using the right case for each letter since network security keys are case-sensitive. 

Another possible reason is a router malfunction. Try restarting or resetting the router and see if it fixes the problem, keeping in mind that resetting your router will change the password back to default. 

Is the Network Security Key the Same as the Password?

The network security key and the Wi-Fi password are more or less the same things. Any access point or router has a network security key that uses an encryption standard for security.

How often should I Change the Wi-Fi Password?

Ideally, you should change your Wi-Fi password once every couple of months. Of course, the more you change it, the safer it’ll be for your network and data.

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To learn more about password protection tactics, encryption types, and cyber security incidents, check out these articles on the CyberTalents blog:

Your Password Got Hacked? Top 7 Ways to Protect it

A Quick Guide to Cybersecurity Incidents and How to Avoid Them

What Are the Different Types of Encryption? A List You Must Know