Setting Password For Mac Wifi

© Casezy idea/Shutterstock WPA2 is the safest password setting you have on your router. Casezy idea/Shutterstock
  • WPA2 is currently the recommended password type for Wi-Fi routers, and lets you secure your network with a custom password.
  • You can find and change your WPA2 password by logging into the router's settings page in a web browser.
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If you've had an internet router installed in your home recently, chances are that it's using WPA2 password protection.

Things to remember while setting/changing your Wi-Fi Password. Find out “The Admin Interface for your Router”. Do not use a Common Wireless Network Name -SSID. Under the Wireless Security Configuration Window, ensure that you are using the latest encryption. Establish a strong password for the WPA pre-shared key for a wireless network. If you have set things up on your Mac so that your passwords normally autofill when you need them, it can be very handy. But sometimes having your password autocomplete can leave you completely.

Short for 'Wi-Fi protected Access 2,' WPA2 debuted in 2006 and has been the preferred security protocol since that time.


But how does WPA2 work? And is it even safe?


Here's what you need to know about WPA2, including a guide on how to find your WPA2 password using a Mac or PC.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Apple Macbook Pro (From $1,299.00 at Apple)

Acer Chromebook 15 (From $358.99 at Staples)

WPA2 is the safest form of Wi-Fi password protection

WPA2 protection is immensely safe. WPA2 relies on a user-generated password to keep strangers out of your internet, and there's currently no way for a hacker to infiltrate it remotely.

The original security protocol for Wi-Fi networks was called WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), but it had a number of serious vulnerabilities. Established in 1999, it had been cracked by 2001. It was then superseded by the first version of WPA in 2003, which was replaced by WPA2 in 2006.

If your router is using any security protocol other than WPA2, you should open the router's settings and change it to WPA2.

The most common way to locate your Wi-Fi router's security settings, which includes the WPA2 password, is by signing into your router's settings page in a web browser.

If the router's manufacturer offers a mobile app, you might be able to see the WPA2 settings there as well.

How to find your WPA2 password

1. To open the router's security settings, you'll need to know the router's IP address. This is often written on the side or bottom of the router itself, but if you can't find it there, you can look up the IP address on your computer. Check out our article on how to do just that.

© Dave Johnson/Business Insider The 'Default Gateway' on Windows computers is your router's IP address. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

2. Once you have the IP address, open any web browser. In the browser, enter the router's IP address in the address bar and press Enter or Return.

3. You'll need to log into the router's settings page using the username and password you used when you installed the router. Check the router's setup guide, or the notes you took when you reset the username and password. Many routers also have this written on the side or bottom.

© Dave Johnson/Business Insider Log into your router's settings page to find the WPA2 password. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

Wifi Password On Mac

4. Every router is different, but you can typically find the WPA2 settings in a section called 'wireless' or 'security.' You should see a menu in which you can select the security protocol (such as WEP, WPA, or WPA2) and the current password.

© Dave Johnson/Business Insider You may need to browse the admin controls to find the security protocol. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

If you find that you can't log into your router, or can't find your password, try contacting the router's manufacturer or your internet service provider.

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Connect to Wi-Fi

You can use the Wi-Fi menu to quickly connect to a nearby wireless network.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon ( or ) in the menu bar.
  2. If Wi-Fi is off, choose 'Turn Wi-Fi on.'
  3. Select a nearby Wi-Fi network from the list.

If you don't see your network listed, make sure it's nearby and that others can connect to it. It could also be a 'hidden' network. You can connect to a hidden network by choosing 'Join other network' and entering the name of the network you're trying to use.

The strength of each nearby network is shown next to its name. More darkened bars indicate a stronger network connection.

Enter your password

Networks that have a lock icon next to their name require a password. After you select your network, enter the network password when you're prompted. If you don't know the network password, check with the owner of the Wi-Fi network you're trying to join.

Use a cellular device as your Wi-Fi connection

Change Wifi Password On Mac

Setting Password For Mac Wifi

Depending on your cellular plan, your iPhone or iPad with cellular can share its Internet connection with your Mac. When your iOS device is configured properly and is near your Mac, it appears in the Wi-Fi menu as an available connection.

When you select a cellular device as your Internet connection, the menu icon changes to indicate your Mac is currently linked to the device ( ).

Turn Wi-Fi on or off

If you're in an environment where Wi-Fi isn't permitted (like on some airline flights) you can quickly turn off Wi-Fi from this menu.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
  2. Choose 'Turn Wi-Fi off.'

When Wi-Fi is turned off, the menu icon changes to and empty indicator ( ). When you're ready to use Wi-Fi again, click the menu icon and choose 'Turn Wi-Fi on.' Then connect to the network you want to join if your Mac doesn't join it automatically.

If you don't see the Wi-Fi menu

You can enable and disable the Wi-Fi menu from the Network pane of System Preferences.

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Network in the System Preferences window.
  3. Select Wi-Fi in the list of available network connections.
  4. Select (check) the option to 'Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar.'

Create a network

Setting Password For Mac Wifi Password

If you want to create a temporary Wi-Fi connection between your Mac and another device, you can create your own network from the Wi-Fi menu.

  1. Click the Wi-Fi menu and choose Create Network.
  2. Enter the details for your network, such as a network name and channel

Setting Password For Mac Wifi Router

When you create a computer-to-computer network, the menu icon changes to show a computer (). When you're done, click the Wi-Fi menu again and choose Disconnect to close the network you created.