What is a Network Security Key?

A Network Security Key is a password or digital signature that is entered as an authorization to gain access to a wireless network. It allows you to establish a secure connection between the user requesting for access and the network. It also helps you to authenticate your home/office network and protects it from any unauthorized or unwanted access.

In this Networking tutorial, you will learn:

Why do you need Network Security?

Here, are reasons for using Network Security:

  • Network security helps you to ensure that the entire network is secure.
  • It helps you to protect the usability, reliability, and safety of network and data.
  • Network security defeats a variety of website threats from entering or spreading into the network.
  • It helps you to make sure that the data is available, which only to the intended and authorized persons.
  • Provide authentication and access control for resources

Types of Network Security Key

There are mainly three types of security key:

  1. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
  2. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy
  3. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)

Let's study them in detail:

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

WPA network security key encrypts information and checks to ensure that the network security key has not been modified. The full form of WPA is Wi-Fi Protected Access.

It also verifies users to help ensure that only authorized people able to access this network. WPA network security key is designed to work with all wireless network adapters. However, it may not work with older access points or routers.

WEP

A WEP key is a security password (key) for WiFi-enabled devices. It allows connected devices on a network to exchange encrypted messages while blocking all messages from being easily decoded and read by outsiders.

WEP keys are a sequence of characters which is taken from the numbers 0 to 9, and the letters A to F. For example, the WEP key could be F45HI00WR3.

The required length of a WEP key could be 10, 26, or 58 characters long. However, it depends on which WEP version is running in your system.

WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)

WPA key is designed to work with all wireless network adapters. However, it might not work with access points.

Therefore, using a security protocol with a pre-shared key (PSK) authentication. In the case of enterprise users, WPA2 password is used for an enterprise authentication server.

How to Find Network Security Key for Windows?

Here is a step by step process to find network security Key for Windows:

For Windows

Step 1) Right-click the network icon in the Taskbar.

Step 2) Select Open Network & Internet settings.

Step 3) Click on connections.

Step 4) Click on Wireless Properties.

Step 5) Click on the Security tab.

Step 6) Click the show character checkbox to view the network security key for WiFi.

How to Find Network Security key for Wireless Router?

Below are some ways to find a network security key of a wireless router:

The network security key on router is mostly labeled on the hardware. It is marked as the "security key", WPA key","WEP key" or "passphrase." You can also get this from the manual which comes with the router when you purchase it.

If you are using a new router or access point at that time, the default wireless network key. This can be found on a label on the bottom part of the device.

However, each manufacturer is using a different label for it, but look for a key that is labeled with below-given phases:

  • Password (key)
  • Wireless password
  • WPA keys

Change your Wi-Fi password

You must change the default Wi-Fi password when you get a new router or access point. Your wireless network is broadcasted to everyone, which is in the range of your device. Therefore, a strong password is important.

For that, we need to find the IP Address of the router. 90% of the routers have the following address: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1.

You can also need to look it up in the manual or find it with your computer.

Right-click on start > select run and type cmd <enter>.

Step 1) In the command box type, you need to type ipconfig and press <enter>.

Step 2) Open your browser and then type 192.168.0.1 in the address bar, and press enters the login page of the router.

Step 3) Search for the login credentials in the manual.

Step 4) Search for a page with Wireless, Wireless Security, or Wireless Settings.

Step 5) Select WPA at least, but the best encryption is WPA2.

Step 6) Change the passphrase, key or password of the wireless network to something strong (at least 10 characters, a symbol, and number)

Step 7) Reconnect your devices with the new password.

What is the Network Security Key Mismatch Error and How To Fix It?

When you enter the password and if a message appears that there is a network security key mismatch, then it means that the combination of characters that you are entering to get access to the network is incorrect. It doesn't match with the password set for your network.

How to Fix Network Security Key Mismatch Error?

There are various methods to resolve the issue, and we can try them to get the right security key.

Here, are some common widely used method to resolve such issue:

  • Foremost reason for network key mismatch is that when we enter a wrong password. So, you need to make sure that you will enter the letters in the upper and lower case exactly in the same way as defined as a network key.
  • If you are entering the right password and if still, the problem persists, then restart your device like restart the router or PC whichever you are using. Sometimes the device will hang, and when you give a restart, it will start working regularly.
  • Some times Wi-Fi network which you are trying to access is not compatible with your device. So it is showing a password mismatch message. Hence, you need to check which version of the Wi-Fi network your device can support.
  • However, if it not resolved, then you need to reset the entire system. Then you need to login to the router and then create a new network name.
  • Again search for the network that you want to connect with and then add the new network security key.

Is Network Security Key Same as The Password?

The security key is generally used with routers and modems, where for each network SSID is a unique and different type of security key named as WPA or WPA2 key or passphrase, which depends upon the maker of the network device.

But in general, when we are accessing the Internet services from an android phone, the security key will be displayed as the password for activating the services.

Therefore, both the same, however, different terminologies are used depending on the makers of the device, kind of the device, and network environment that is being deployed.

Advantages of Network Security Key

Here, are some important advantages of Network Security Key:

  • Using the Network Security key, you can protect the personal data of clients existing on the network.
  • Network Security key offers complete security of information that is shared between computers on the network.
  • Hacking virus or spyware attacks from the internet will not harm physical computers.
  • External possible attacks are prevented.

Summary:

  • The Network Security Key means the password, which helps you to authenticate your home/office network.
  • Network security helps you to ensure that the entire network is secure.
  • Three types of network security keys are 1) WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) 2) WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy 3) WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)
  • WPA network security key encrypts information and checks to ensure that the network security key has not been modified.
  • A WEP key is a security password (key) for WiFi-enabled devices.
  • WPA key is designed to work with all wireless network adapters.
  • The router's network security key is mostly labeled on the hardware, which is marked as the "security key", WPA key","WEP key" or "passphrase."
  • You must change the default Wi-Fi password when you get a new router or access point.
  • The biggest benefit of using the network security key WiFi is that you can protect the personal data of clients existing on the network.

 

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