So, in our last tutorial, we showed you how to set up your Wi-Fi router. But what if you want a stronger password in order to make it more difficult for other people to use your Wi-Fi network without your permission? You can certainly do that! In this lesson, we'll show you how to change or reset your Wi-Fi password.
To change your Wi-Fi password, you first have to access your Wi-Fi router's interface over the Internet. Find your router's specific Internet address, and then typing it in to a web browser of choice. From there, navigate your router's interface until you find your wireless settings, and change your password.
It's a bit of a complicated process, so we'll split it into two parts in order to make it easier for you to digest.
Follow steps 2 through 5 in our How to Connect to WiFi tutorial; that is, find the wireless networks that are available to you.
When you find the wireless network that corresponds to your Wi-Fi router, right-click on it and then left-click Status.
When the status window for your wireless network appears, click Details.
When your wireless network's details appear, check for the setting that says "Default Gateway". Write this number down, as you're going to need it.
Open your web browser of choice and type the "Default Gateway" number that you obtained from the last step into your browser's web address bar, as if it was a URL (well, technically, it still is one). Then press the "Enter" key to go to your Wi-Fi router's interface on the Internet.
(NOTE: You may have to enter your system administrator name and password at this point; they should have been provided to you when you received your modem or wireless router. If you don't have a password, or it hasn't been changed from the default, just leave this field blank.)
Each router will work slightly differently from here on out, but the general steps are similar. For starters, we'll click Settings.
For the next step, we have to click LAN, and then click Wireless.
If you scroll down to the "Security" section, you can click the check box here to decide whether or not you want security enabled for your Wi-Fi network connection (which you probably should, so leave it checked). You can also click the drop-down menu here to select what type of wireless security you want. (We would suggest one with the "WPA" standard).
As you can see here, we also have a choice of using the default password provided with the router, or we can pick our own custom one. To change your wireless password, click the button beside "Set Custom Encryption Key", and then click in the box beside it and type in your new password.
When you're all finished, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Save to save your changes.
Make sure that your password is of sufficient length. Try to make it at least 10 characters, and maybe more.
Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols (if allowed) for the characters in your password. This provides more possibilities that must be tried in order for someone to figure out each character in your password.
If your password is allowed to be case-sensitive, use both upper-case and lower-case letters. This adds even more possibilities for what each character in your password could be, making it tougher to break.
Don't base your password on easily-recognizable patterns of letters or numbers. For example, try to avoid words (or groups of words) that someone could look up in the dictionary, or key patterns that someone could figure out by looking at a keyboard.
Write your password down on a physical piece of paper and store it somewhere that only you can access. Don't write it down in a file on your computer; this makes it too easy to find if your computer gets hacked or stolen, or just simply used by someone other than you.
For more ideas on strengthening and effectively managing your passwords, see our course on passwords.
Okay! Now you know how to change your Wi-Fi password to make it stronger and keep troublemakers off your Internet radio waves!
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