How to Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi)

A wireless home network is great for the convenience, but without a good password you’re leaving yourself wide open to malicious attacks and neighbors leeching off the internet that you pay for. Setting a password is quick and easy, and can prevent you countless headaches down the road. Follow this guide to lock down your Wi-Fi with a strong password in just a few minutes.


  1. Image titled Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi) Step 1
    Access your wireless router. Ideally, you can do this with the setup disc that came with your router, but routers are also designed to be accessed remotely through the Internet. To access your router through your web browser, enter the address into the URL. Typical router addresses include,, and
    • If you can, access the router using a computer that is connected to the router via an Ethernet cable. If you access it via Wi-Fi, you will be kicked out when you change the settings, and will have to reconnect to the network and log back in to make any adjustments.
    • The default username and password for most routers is “admin” in both fields. If this doesn't work, try leaving one field blank and typing admin into the other. If that fails, consult any available support for your specific router manufacturer.
    • If you have changed your access password in the past and can’t remember it, you can press and hold the Reset button on your router to return it to factory defaults. This will clear out all of your settings.
    • If you don't have access to your original documentation, you can look up your router's model online to find the default IP address and login details.
  2. Image titled Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi) Step 2
    Find your wireless security settings. The section labels will vary from router to router, but this is generally located in “Wireless Settings” or “Security Settings”. If you are having difficulty finding it, enter your router’s model number into an internet search and look for how to access the security settings.
  3. Image titled Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi) Step 3
    Select an encryption type. Most routers have several options available when it comes to security. You can typically choose between WEP, WPA-PSK(Personal), or WPA2-PSK. If you can, select WPA2 because it is the most secure form of encryption available for wireless networks. Some older routers don't have this option.
    • Some older devices will not be able to connect to a network that uses WPA2. Keep this in mind if you have multiple older devices that you need attached to your network.
  4. Image titled Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi) Step 4
    Choose AES algorithms for WPA2-Personal. If you are given an option, choose AES as the encryption algorithm for your WPA2 security. The other option is TKIP, which is older and less secure. Some routers will only allow you to select AES.[1]
    • AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is the best set of algorithms for wireless encryption.
  5. Image titled Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi) Step 5
    Enter your passphrase and SSID. The SSID is the name of the network, and the passphrase will need to be entered by any device that connects to that SSID.
    • Your password should be a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. The more basic your password protection is, the easier it is for someone to guess, or "brute force crack," as hackers call it. There are password generators online that will create strong password protection for you, if you need them.
  6. Image titled Add a Password to Your Wireless Internet Connection (WiFi) Step 6
    Save your new settings and refresh your router. Click the Apply or Save button on your Wireless Settings page to save your new wireless security settings. Most routers will refresh automatically, and any device connected wirelessly to the network will get kicked off and need to sign on again.
    • If your router does not refresh automatically, you may need to do this manually. To refresh your router turn off the power and count to 10. Then turn it back on and let it run through its boot cycle (you'll know it’s done when all the lights on the front are done flashing).
    • Make sure to add your new login and password credentials to all devices that regularly access your wireless Internet connection. For added Wi-Fi security, you can change your password protection every 6 months or so.


  • Another good way to add Wi-Fi security is to change the network name or SSID. Your wireless router has a default SSID name. Anyone trying to steal Wi-Fi access can easily search for default network names and attempt default passwords or brute force cracking. You can turn broadcasting of your SSID off completely so that no one can see that you have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Make sure to note your password somewhere safe, in case you need it again.
  • Make sure to turn on your router's firewall. Some routers have it turned off by default, but this is an easily added level of Wi-Fi security.
  • If your router does not offer WPA2, select WPA rather than WEP. WPA2 is currently the most secure encryption method for wireless Internet connections. If you can only select between WEP and WPA, choose WPA. WEP is very old and easily bypassed by modern technology.

Article Info

Categories: Wireless Networking