How to Find a Wireless WEP

By Eoghan McCloskey

A WEP or wired equivalent privacy key is a method of securing wireless networks to prevent unauthorized access. If a wireless network is unsecured, anyone that lives within the broadcast range of the wireless router generating the wireless signal can access the Internet connection illegally. Adding a WEP bars access from all those who cannot correctly type in the WEP. If you added a WEP to your wireless network but no longer know what it is, this situation can be resolved in just a few painless steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethernet cable

Step 1

Attach the Ethernet cable from one of the numbered Ethernet ports on your wireless router to one of your computer's Ethernet ports. Push the Ethernet connector in until it will not push any further into the port.

Step 2

Open an Internet browser and type in the router's local access IP address followed by the "Enter" key. If you do not know the local access IP, it may be printed on the router itself. If not, check the router's documentation or try one of the common local access IPs associated with your brand of router listed in the source provided in the resources section.

Step 3

Access the router's security settings. This step varies heavily depending on what make and model of router you use, but these options will almost always be found under a "security" heading. The WEP will be listed on this page; it will be censored with dots for security purposes, but you can delete the field and enter a new WEP. Make sure to save your changes upon doing so.

Step 4

Reset the wireless router to factory default settings if you are not able to reset the WEP manually. Many routers have a reset button located inside a recessed hole on the back, near all the physical connections. Press a pencil or other thin object into this hole until the button depresses, and release it. This will restore factory default settings to the router and thus erase whatever WEP was previously set on the router. You can then proceed to assign a new WEP in the manner described in steps 1-3.