Are you new to setting up your WiFi connection? Or you are probably wondering what a network security key is about. Fortunately for you, it is not as complicated or confusing as it may seem.
Your network security is simply referring to your Wi-Fi or wireless network password.
And it is not that simple, otherwise, we wouldn’t need another name to describe it.
But in this article, we will simplify it further for easy assimilation, as we will answer some of the questions you have locked in your mind.
Table of contents
- What is the Network Security Key?
- Types of Network Security Key
- Finding Your Network Security Key
- Network Security Key Mismatch and How to Fix It
What is the Network Security Key?
As earlier stated, a network security key, also referred to as a WiFi or wireless network password, is the password you used to connect to a wireless network. Suppose you have a router in your home.
In that case, you realize that each access point comes with a preset network security key (a code) that you can use to connect your device to it as authorization, and you can also change this code on your device’s settings page.
The network security key is very important because it helps protect your network from outsiders.
Without this key, connecting to your wireless network might be impossible, and it is also very important to keep strong network security.
Having weak network security can make your network easily accessible to cybercriminals who might have access to your info, leading to the theft of identity and so many serious offenses or crimes you might not want to be associated with.
You Should Check Out: Top 10 Marketable Cybersecurity Careers
Types of Network Security Key
The network security keys are of various types that we use in our daily activities, for instance, your online banking, for transactions that require a one-time password (OTP), logging into mail accounts, online shopping, and so on.
But the most common security key they can hold everyone guilty of using is the one we use for authorization on wireless networks, including WiFi, protected access (WPA and WPA2), and the wired equivalent privacy (WEP).
Check Also: 10 Best Free Cyber Security Courses
WiFi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2)
The WPA and WPA2 have secured network keys with a password or passcode that must be entered before you can connect to the wireless networks and can be obtained from the network’s owner.
For the WPA security key, the owner can change or reset the password to whatever they like. The WPA2 is the most secure key because it uses the AES algorithm rather than the formerly used one.
They recommend it mostly for a business that seems to need a high and strict security measure, and using the WPA2 security key might require higher hardware for high processing power.
We also have the WPA and WPA2 Personal (WPA-PSK), used mostly for home or small office networks as they do not require server-based authorization or authentication.
They usually encrypt data by extracting the 128 bits from the pre-shared key of 256 bits.
Read Also: 15 Best Cyber Security Schools in the World 2023 | Rankings
Wired Equivalent Privacy
WEP is one of the oldest types of security keys that are used for wireless networks, which uses a 40-bit key for encrypting the data between your router and computer, and the so-called encryption is usually weak. It can be easily accessible, exposing the network to hackers.
Two types of authentication are used: the open system and shared key authorization.
In an open system authorization method, the requesting client does not need to input any passcode to be authorized as anybody can try to connect to the wireless network as they use only the web key for the encryption process.
They mostly used WEP to deploy a four-way handshake process in shared key authentication. First, the host client sends an authorization request to the access point.
The access point then sends back a response to a clear-text challenge, in which the client host encrypts the text and then sends it back to the access point. The access point then decrypts the response; a positive reply will be communicated if it is identical to the challenge text.
Finally, the steps might make it look like this network security key is well secured, but on the other hand, the key can easily be decoded just by cracking the challenge frames.
Don’t Fail to Read: 13 Free Cyber Security Training Online with Certificate 2023
Finding Your Network Security Key
You might find yourself in a scenario where you just got a router or want to give access to a mobile device and can’t seem to remember your key.
Well, if you happen to have a device already connected to the router or wireless network, finding the security key will be no issue as you can get it from your settings.
Each device connected to the wireless network keeps the key so it can reconnect whenever it is turned on and within range, and there will be no need for authorization.
See Also: 10 Best Cyber Security Courses Online for Beginners
Finding the Network Security Key on a Router
If you just got a new router or access point, its default network security key is usually written on its label at the back or bottom.
Although different manufacturers have different labels, what you should look for is labeled or name with either Password, Wireless password, or WPA key.
After finding the key, using the phrase or passcode to connect to the wireless network should be next.
Now if you have changed the key from its default code or phrase and you don’t have a device connected to it, the only way of getting the network security key is to look it up in the router.
Here are steps to follow when you want to recover your network security key for the following type of device:
Finding Your Network Security Key on Windows 10/ Mac or Android Device
If you have a Windows 10, Mac, or Android device and want to recover your security key, we have you covered. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Right-click on the start menu
Click on the search icon or magnifying glass to search for Keychain access.
In the keychain access screen, search for your WiFi network in the top right corner.
Double-click on your network and select the show password or tick the check box, although you must input your Mac password.
Android phones support the use of data or the internet on the device itself, and all you have to do is turn on your mobile data to start using the data service.
Network security will be needed when you want to permit another device to pair with your android phone and vice versa.
To find your network key, all you have to do is follow these steps:
Network Security Key Mismatch and How to Fix It
Sometimes you try connecting to a wireless network, get the error feedback, and wonder what went wrong; it simply means you’ve inputted an incorrect password or key. You can get the error feedback for different reasons, which are:
Wrong password: This is the most common reason; entering a wrong password won’t grant you access to the network, and when you get this, you should double-check if you’ve inputted the correct password; if the password is in the same case as it is case sensitive, try copying and pasting to avoid confusion too.
Incompatible device: Some older devices don’t support the new or upgraded WPA2 network keys. You can see the network but can’t connect because it does not support the same network security key protocol.
Router or access points hanging: Sometimes you get a network mismatch because your router/access point hangs, and rebooting of the router may solve the issue. If none of these works, then try resetting the wireless network; you can choose between two options which are
Creating a new wireless network: this can be done by login into your router, locating the wireless network tab, removing the old one, and creating a new one. Choosing a strong password and you can keep it safe by using a password manager.
Resetting the whole router or access point: to do this, log into the router, check for the default router login credentials, and keep your settings at hand.
From this article, we now understand the concepts of a network security key, the various types of a network security key, the different applications of the network security key, and how to resolve network security key mismatch.
- Top 10 Marketable Cybersecurity Careers | 2023
- 10 Best Free Cyber Security Courses
- 15 Best Cyber Security Schools in the World 2023 | Rankings
- 13 Free Cyber Security Training Online with Certificate 2023
- 10 Best Cyber Security Courses Online for Beginners
- What Is Network Security Key? How to Find on Router, Windows, Mac?
- What is a Debit Card Security Code and why is it important?
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.