What Is a Network Security Key? How Do You Find It?

What Is a Network Security Key

Did you know that last year cybercrime resulted in a loss of $4.1 billion for the American people? As we become increasingly dependent on technology in our day-to-day lives, we can only expect this number to increase.

Luckily, we have things like network security keys to keep users’ personal information safe. But, exactly what is a network security key? And how do you find it?

If you want to learn the answer to these questions, and more, you’re in the right place. In this network security guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about this cybersecurity concept. Let’s get started!

What Is a Network Security Key?

A network security key is a password or phrase that can be used to access a local area network. Odds are, you’re familiar with a network security key in your own home.

This is the password that you input to establish a connection. The security key acts to create a secure connection between the requesting client and the network.

However, more importantly, it prevents unauthorized parties from accessing the network. Without this security precaution, you’re much more vulnerable to cybercrime attacks. That’s why you should never access secure data when using public wifi.

What Are the Different Types of Network Security Keys?

Every type of secured network will use some type of network security key. However, not every network uses the same type of security. There are three main types of network securities that you’ll encounter.

They include WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WEP stands for Wired Equivalent Policy. This is only of the earliest types of security keys used. Even though it’s still widely used, it doesn’t have great encryption or security.

Next is WPA, which stands for Wi-fi Protected Access. The WPA provides more security than the WEP thanks to features like the temporal key integrity protocol and packet mixing.

Finally, there’s the most advanced network security, the WPA2. This type of security uses an Advanced Encryption Standard, which makes it the most secure option.

Method One: Find the Key Using Your Router

If you have access to your router, you may be able to get your network security key just by looking at it. Most routers will display the default network security key on the back or bottom of the device.

However, the network key won’t always be visible. Or, someone can change it. In this case, you will need to access your home router by logging in as an administrator. Different router brands will have different menu systems.

Most of them will still show you your network security key on the main page. If it’s not visible, go to the Connection or Wi-fi page from the menu navigation.

The key code should be found there. If you have access to your router, this is by far the easiest method to find your network security key.

Method Two: Find the Key Using Your Windows PC

If you’re already connected to the network, you can find the wifi password through your computer. Let’s start with Windows PC. First, go to the start menu. Then, type Network Status into the search bar.

This will take you to the Network Status settings page. When you get to this page, scroll down to the option that says ‘Change adapter options. From there, right-click on the wifi network adapter that you’re using.

Select the button that says ‘Status.’ This will take you to the Wifi Status window, where you can select the option that says ‘Wireless properties.’ Once this is open, select the security tab.

Your network security key should be present but blurred out. You can fix this by hitting the ‘Show characters’ check box. That should reveal your password, which you can then write down.

Method Three: Find the Key Using Your Mac

Next, let’s find out how to access the key on your Mac computer. With this interface, you need to select the ‘Go’ option. Then, click on ‘Utilities’ and move on to ‘Keychain Access.’ From there, click on the login option.

You should see a list of networks your Mac has accessed. If you don’t see your network present, hit the ‘System’ button. Your active network should be on display there.

Once you see your network click on it and scroll down to the Attributes section. Your network security key should be present but blurred out. Like with Windows, you can fix this by hitting the ‘Show characters’ check box.

What Should You Do None of the Methods Work?

If none of these methods work, we recommend contacting your internet service provider. They should be able to provide you with the network security key as long as you have relevant user information.

Sadly, many ISPs can take a long time to get back to you. If you don’t have time to wait, try contacting IT services. These professionals can provide you with lots of remote services.

From basic computer help to advanced engineering, they’re a great solution if you want a quick fix to your network problems.

Want More Content? Keep Reading

We hope this article helped you answer the question, What is a network security key? As you can see, these keys not only protect us from piggyback wifi users but also serious cybercriminals.

Sadly, finding a network security key can be a bit of a challenge if you forget where it is. But, as long as you follow the methods in this article, you should be able to find it in no time. And, if you’re having trouble, you can always contact a professional to help you. 

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