The best WiFi password is one you come up with and is not listed on a webpage. Your WiFi password is critical to protect all your devices and personal information. There are a few crucial requirements to make sure your home network is safe.
The best WiFi password should be a passphrase or sentence which is strong and sharable. The phrase should contain at least 20 characters, including upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuations, or special symbols. The goal is to protect devices on the network and can be clever or memorable.
Here are 8 simple steps to create a strong password that’s sharable to guests. Clever or funny: optional.
How To Make Your WiFi Password
Usually, when people think about passwords, they drift towards a complex and challenging string of characters often produced by a password generator. You don’t need to be this elaborate to protect your wireless local area network or LAN.
How to create a strong WiFi password:
- Grab paper or open your secure note-taking app.
- Write a sentence describing you, your interests, or your goals.
- Include at least a double-digit number.
- Add a proper name like a brand or person’s name.
- Avoid personally identifiable information.
- Avoid sentences that could be found on Google.
- Make the sentence grammatically correct, including Capitals & punctuations.
- Ensure it has at least 20 characters.
Here are some example password sentences for illustration purposes only:
- My dog, Pfred, was 16 years old.
- Star Wars Day started in 1979.
- Data Overhaulers has >100 articles.
These are no longer secure since I’ve published them here. You need a unique password that’s not found via a search engine.
Now that you’ve created a strong password, your next step is to update your WiFi router’s configuration and each of your wireless devices.
Store your shiny, new passphrase in your password manager. It’s also safe enough to write it on a piece of tape and secure to your wireless router or a WiFi hotspot for future reference.
When you have visitors, it’ll be easier to let them connect their devices without too much headache.
How To Share Your WiFi Password
The best way to share your WiFi password is by providing a passphrase sentence that can be spoken clearly without being misunderstood. Printing the password is okay so long as it can be changed and not in view of passers-by. QR codes provide a high-tech and convenient way to share to get connected.
Connecting Via QR Code
For those looking for a high-tech way to connect visitors, you can generate and print a QR code. Guests can scan the code using an iPhone or Android app, instructing their mobile device to join to the correct access point providing an internet connection.
In this video (3m42s@2x), ThioJoe walks you through creating a QR code for your WiFi.
Having a sharable password comes with a downside. Visitors may pass along the access leading to a larger group of people having access to your network-connected devices.
Sometimes it’s easier to write down or print your WiFi password simply and direct guests to connect their Android or iPhone device at their leisure.
At home, this isn’t too much of a security problem. Simply avoid labeling it with the WiFi name and passphrase, ensuring it’s not visible through a window. A dedicated hacker might surveil your home looking for a prominently displayed sign. Their goal isn’t to steal internet service but to attack other network-connected computers, smartphones, or IoT devices.
Avoid posting the WiFi Set Service Identifier or SSID and passphrase in a corporate environment. This should be something that should be obtained from an employee to authorized visitors. Many businesses protect their corporate LAN from drive-by attacks. Requiring users to request access in person helps guard the WiFi network and connected devices.
The Crowded Bar Test
We purposefully created your WiFi passphrase above so it could be easily shared verbally. To test this, we can use the Crowded Bar Test.
Pretend you’re in a packed bar filled with the noise of conversations and the clinking of glass. If you told your friend at the table the WiFi password, do you think they’d accurately hear and then connect their Android phone to the WiFi connection?
If you think your friend would confusingly yell back, “WHAT?” you may need to go back to the previous section and create a different secure password.
Most Secure Option: Separate Guest Network
What is a guest WiFi network?
A guest WiFi network is a service option on many higher-end WiFi routers. Once activated, the access point broadcasts a second WiFi name. This separate network is isolated from the primary and used exclusively for visitors. The guest WiFi password is different and more comfortable to relay.
If you have a router with this feature, consider turning it on. You’ll repeat the same process to create a passphrase as we did in the first section. Feel free to break out the list of funny WiFi names and clever passphrase sentences at this point.
Do companies monitor guest WiFi?
Generally, companies monitor guest WiFi networks, often logging and analyzing connected devices’ traffic. Businesses usually require tighter security measures and better protections than consumer or home guest WiFi. Monitoring WiFi connections in a business setting is a common practice.
Additional security tips:
- Ensure that you see that your wireless network is using the highest encryption standard, which is currently WPA2 PSK or WPA3.
- Tech-savvy users can look to implement MAC address filtering to help ensure that only authorized devices are on the primary network.
- Avoid using the WPS PIN feature, which makes it easier to connect devices, often reducing network security.
- Disable remote or external administration, which is unnecessary in most use cases.
- Remember that your WiFi password is different from your router’s password.
Difference Between WiFi Password and Router Password
It can be confusing, for sure. Two separate passwords for the same box.
What is the difference between a WiFi password and a router password?
A router password is used to access the router’s web-based setup for configuration purposes. A WiFi password is used to connect wireless devices to your network or hotspot for internet access. Experts agree that the default, factory router password should be changed after installation to prevent intrusion.
Use a password generator to create a 10 to 20-random-character string for the router password. Be sure to store this password in your password manager. This administrative password will rarely be used.
You’ll most often use the WiFi password to connect new devices to the internet.
Remember This About Good WiFi Passwords
The primary purpose of a WiFi password is to secure your network from unauthorized access. It’s not only about keeping people from using your internet but also preventing a hacker from attacking your connected devices.
Having a short or default password leaves all your devices vulnerable to snooping or remote assaults.
A good WiFi password should be shareable and strong. Using a passphrase is the perfect solution as we’ve instructed above.