How Can I Find My Network Key?

By Jonathan McLelland

A computer network key is a security feature for connecting a computer to a wireless network. Network keys prevent unauthorized access to your wireless connection, which helps prevent hackers from stealing your personal information and neighbors from accessing your wireless signal. Locating your network key may vary according to the type of wireless router you have. However, most computer users are able to access their network key through a series of steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet router
  • Ethernet cable
  • Notebook
  • Pen/Pencil

Step 1

Connect the Internet router to your computer through an Ethernet cable.

Step 2

Navigate your computer mouse to the "Start" menu, which is located at the lower-left corner of the computer desktop. Press the "Start" button.

Step 3

Select the "Run" menu option, which is located within the Start Menu options. If you are unable to locate this option, press "Ctrl + Alt + Delete," and wait for the "Task Manager" menu box to populate. Press the "File" option at the top of the "Task Manager" box, and select the "New Task (Run)" option within the "File" drop-down box.

Step 4

Type "cmd" into the text field within the "Run" box, and select the "OK" option, located directly underneath the text field. Upon doing so, the Command Prompt box will open, which features a black color.

Step 5

Type "ipconfig" into the Command Prompt and press "Enter." After doing so, information regarding your Internet connection will populate. Review the information, and write down the IP Address located next to the "Default Gateway" phrase. This IP Address will look something like ""; however, it may differ from these series of numbers.

Step 6

Navigate your computer to your Web browser, such as Internet Explorer, FireFox or Google Chrome. Type the Default Gateway IP Address gathered from the Command Prompt box. For example:

Step 7

Enter the Internet router username and password you created when first installing the router. Upon doing so, you will be navigated to the Router Settings menu. Within this menu, you will locate your network key under the "Security Settings" option. However, the menu options may differ slightly, depending on the manufacturer of the router.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not remember the username and password for the Internet router, you may need to reset the router by pressing the "Reset" button located on the physical router. Once the router has been reset, you may create a new username and password or use the default factory username and password, which is available in the router operating manual.
  • Do not share your network key with anyone, since access to this key allows users to connect to your Internet signal.