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How Do I Find My Computer’s WPA Key?

written by: PreciousJohnDoe•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 1/13/2011

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is an advancement over WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). While connecting to a home network, you are often asked to insert a WPA key or a password to which users often ask, "How Do I Find My Computer’s WPA Key?". Read more to find your computer's WPA key...

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    What is WPA?

    WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access. It is a standard security protocol implemented by Wi-Fi alliance to secure wireless computer networks. WPA standard is advancement over WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) standard that had several security issues. WPA implements most of the IEEE 802.11i standard and provides greater security than WEP.

    While connecting to your home network, you are often asked to insert a WPA key. This WPA key is either located in the modem or in the router you are using. In order to find your computer’s WPA key, follow the steps given below:

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    How to find your computer's WPA key

    Step 1: First of all, you need to launch an internet browser. Press “Windows + R" keys to open the “Run" prompt and type “iexplore" without quotes to open Internet Explorer. You can also type “firefox" to open Mozilla Firefox. On the address bar at the top, type http://192.168.1.1 (Belkin routers use 192.168.2.1 as the default IP) and press “Enter" key.

    This address belongs to your wireless modem or wireless router to which you are connected.

    Step 2: A window asking for username and password will appear. In the username field, type “admin" without quotes and in the password field, either type “password" without quotes or leave the password field blank. Press “Enter" key to continue.

    If password is correct, you will be redirected to the modem/router’s “Settings" page, otherwise, you will have to reset the modem/router. Check beneath the modem/router or check the manual for correct password.

    To reset a Linksys modem/router or Belkin one, locate a small hole at the back of the modem/router and insert a pin to press the switch inside it. Keep the switch pressed for about 20-30 seconds after which the modem/router will restore the settings to “factory defaults" and reboot itself.

    Repeat the step 2, in order to gain access to “Settings" page.

    Step 3: On the modem/router’s “Settings" page, find “Wireless" option. Click the “Wireless" link to populate the wireless settings. Now, locate and click the “Security" or “Advanced Security" option.

    On the security page, you will find “Network Authentication". Different options available under the Network Authentication menu are open, shared, WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, etc. Select either WPA or WPA2, to find your computer’s WPA key and insert this key when asked for.

    If in step 2, you had reset the modem/router, you will not find any WPA or WPA2 key, and you will have to manually assign one. Select any of the WPA-PSK or any other authentication and assign a key to it. A key can be 8-63 long. For minimal security, you can choose 8 characters key, like “iN\/5R92". For maximum security, choose 63 characters key like, “sJ0esmoU2cBD\m+oMp$nrXj5XPVRTvVA5fpwGSGI\RVz4RdQ7V3y\l$P1NrT9Be".

    After you have assigned a key, save/apply the changes and reboot the modem/router.

    Note: The procedure shown above is common to most of the modems/routers. If this doesn’t apply to you, check your modem/router’s manual to find the wireless security option.