Network Security Key: How To Find It On 5 Different Devices?

Network Security Key: How To Find It On 5 Different Devices?

Network security key is a password essential to connect to a wireless internet network. It serves as a secure link between the requesting client and the serving network and protects the unauthorized use of your internet.

Understanding Network Security Key

Understanding Network Security Key

When you first hear about a network security key, you may get confused considering it to be some technical term or a complex process. But this is not so. The network security key is actually your network password which is generally available as passphrases, digital signatures, and biometric data . This key provides the user’s devices with authorization and accessibility to the wireless network.

The main function of a network security key is to establish a secure connection between the requesting client and the serving network. This may include your routers or modems which safeguards your network and devices from unauthorized usage.

Network Security  Key: Explaining Different Types

Your internet is secured by different kinds of network security keys. Let us understand them one by one:

1. Wired equivalent privacy (WEP)

This type of network security key serves as a security algorithm functioning specifically to provide data security. WEP encrypts data packets using a 40-bit key combined with a 24-bit initialization vector. This combination creates a 64-bit WEP key. This network security key shows as a series of characters between numbers 0-9 and the letters A to F. 

In certain parts of the world like the U.S. early WEP versions were limited to 64 bit . This was restricted to limit the export of several cryptographic technologies. After the regulations were lifted 128-bit and 256-bit encryption also found a way to the devices.

You can use WEP with the following encryption methods: 

  1. By opening system authentication: This is the method that allows a client to share credentials with the access point. Here you will use the WEP key for encryption.
  2. By sharing key authentication: This involves further four steps. The first is to reply in a clear text message for client authentication requests. The second is to encrypt the  challenge text using a configured WEP key. The third step involves decrypting the response for the access point, verifying a match, and completing authentication. Lastly comes the key usage. Both sender and receiver use the secret key to decrypt and encrypt data.

2. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

It is an advanced version of WEP with additional features. This is a secure network but it has a possibility to be exposed to cyberattacks

There are three versions of WPA:

  1. WPA: A temporal key integrity program and a per-packet key, work together to enable a new 128-bit key. It also provides protection from certain cyber risks.
  2. WPA2: It came after WPA with IEEE 802.11. It includes support for CCM protocol.
  3. WPA3: WPA3 was introduced as a replacement for WPA2. it has proved to be a more powerful encryption with simple set up.

How Can You Find Out Your Network Security Key?

There are different ways to locate the network security key at different devices:

1. Finding out network security key on router

Finding out network security key on router

You can find out the router network security key labeled at the back side of your router. It may have different names like security key, WEP key, WPA key or passphrase. If you are unable to find it there, you can get it from the router user manual. Or you can access it by logging in to its default settings through the internet.

After  logging in with the default password,change it for better security.

You can also derive it from the manual that comes with the router when you purchase it.

You can also learn the network security key of the router by logging in to its default settings on its web interface.

2. Finding out the Network Security Key on Phone

You can easily find out your network key on the phone whether it’s an Android phone or iPhone. 

On Android

  1. Go to the settings of your Android phone and select wifi connection option.
  2. Here you will see the network listed under the current network.
  3. You will have to scan the QR code to see the network security key.

On iPhone

  1. Go to the settings of your iPhone and choose wifi option.
  2. Here you will click on the icon next to the network. This is the network your phone is connected to.
  3. Write down or copy the router’s IP address and paste it into a web browser.
  4. Now lastly put in the router’s login credentials to see the network security key.

3. Finding out the Network Security Key on Windows 10 & 11

  1. Open the start menu and select the settings option by clicking on the Windows icon.
  2. Here move on to select the ‘Network & internet’ option on the left side menu.
  3. Move down your cursor and click on ‘Advanced network settings’ and open ‘More network adapter options.’
  4. Now left click on the wireless network and select ‘Status’ and  then open ‘Wireless properties’.
  5. Lastly, go to the ‘Security tab’ and mark ‘Show characters’. Now you can see the Network security key next to the password.

4. Finding Out The Network Security Key on Mac

  1. Start by opening Finder and selecting Go  then Utilities. 
  2. Here you will click on Keychain Access and find out the current connected network. Double click on it.
  3. You will see a new window. Click on the checkbox next to ‘Show password’.
  4. Type in your Mac login password and select ok. You will be now able to see the network security key to the right of the show password option.
  5. In the new window that opens, type the password you use to log into your Mac.

5.Finding Out Network Security Key on Hotspot

Finding Out Network Security Key on Hotspot

You can find it out on Android and iOS with the following steps:

On Android

  1. Start by entering in the settings of the device and go to Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.
  2. Click on Mobile Hotspot and then tap on Password.
  3. Now select the Show Password option.
  4. In this way you will be shown the network security key.

On iOS

  1. Start by entering the device settings and tap on Personal Hotspot.
  2. Here you can easily find the key in the Wi-Fi Password field.

Why Do You See Network Security Key Mismatch Error?

It is a common incidence to see the network security mismatch error while you try to log into your wireless network. Most of the time you enter a wrong password. But in the case of writing the correct password, you still come across the same issue. 

Fixing Network Security Key Mismatch Error

There are several reasons for this and you can understand and fix it with the following ways:

  1. In the first attempt, look carefully and type your network password again by putting the right combination of password characters. Pay attention to upper and lower case characters. Sometimes you can resolve it simply by putting the right password carefully.
  2. If you get a mismatch message despite using the correct password, your router may have crashed. Fix it with the good old restart method. Press the power button on your router, turn it back on, and see if it connects.
  3. Sometimes you see this error due to some issues in your internet router. You can fix it by restarting the router and turning it off then on and try reconnecting again.
  4. There is a possibility that your saved network settings have corrupted, bringing you this error. To resolve it, you should try to forget the wireless network and reconnect.
  5. You can be reassured that your device supports the version of the Wi-Fi network you’re trying to connect to. Network security key mismatch error may occur when the device has an unsupported network.
  6. Your antivirus software may be interrupting and showing you this error. Try to disable it and reconnect again.

How is the Network Security Key Different from The Password?

How is the Network Security Key Different from The Password?

Both are the same but different terms are used to explain to them which entirely depends the on the makers of the device and the kind of the device. We use the term security key when we connect the internet with routers, modems, or switches. Also in Windows PC the network security key is named after the network name.

What are the Good Ways to Maintain Network Key Security?

You can keep in mind the following tips for maintaining the network security key safe:

  1. Prioritize password length: The longer the password, the harder it is to crack.
  2. Add special characters in your password  like &, !, @, #, $, %, ^, . This will make your password difficult to break and ensure more security.
  3. Try a password generator app to get a more secure and safe password for your network. You can try different password generators like Norton to get a complex and secure password.
  4. Keep on changing the password frequently. This helps in protecting your network security key from unauthorized use.
  5. Always use  a new password for each account. Never reuse the same old passwords again and again.


Your network security key is accessible by following the simple steps which are different for each device. By carefully going through the steps mentioned in this guide you can see it easily. Try to use a strong and complex password as a network security key to ensure better security from unauthorized and cyber attacks.


1. Should I change my password frequently?

Yes, you should change your network password every three months. In this way, all the devices connected with the old password will be disconnected, And you can access them only with your newly generated password.

2. Can I find my network security key on my router?

You can see it on the back side of your router marked as a Security Key or sometimes it is mentioned in your router user manual booklet.

3. How is a network security key for Wi-Fi defined?

Mostly it is explained as a Wi-Fi password. This is login information that keeps your internet connection and network secure. You can easily make your own network security key which is set as default at the start, You can change it afterward.

Meet Rizwana Naeem, a passionate content writer who spreads useful information in innovative ways, captivating readers with her unique style. She connects deeply with people through her words, forging meaningful relationships and leaving a lasting impact.

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