"What's your Wi-Fi password?" This is one of the most frequently asked questions from visitors trying to connect to your WiFi at home, or from someone visiting a cafe or restaurant and trying to access an internet connection. However, this issue is not limited to these places given the massive importance people place on WiFi these days.
WiFi is a term given to a wireless network that uses radio frequency signals to connect the internet between devices. Since its development in 1997, it has played a vital role in the modern, technological world we live in today. Almost everyone uses gadgets, from smartphones to computers. Others may not be able to imagine what life would be like without WiFi! Homes, offices and public places have WiFi connections installed because people find it essential. Almost everyone with internet service uses a WiFi network to share that service with all the devices in their home or workplace.
In today's world, the vast majority of Wi-Fi networks are password protected, even public Wi-Fi has started to be controlled. Many places you go have their passwords posted in the building to help prevent bandwidth thieves from outside and to encrypt data transmissions inside. For convenience, manufacturers have created several ways for a guest user to access the network without knowing a password, and it's easy, but it's not as easy as you think. In this article, you will see several methods to connect to Wi-Fi without password.
Please note, however, that it is a violation of good manners (and most likely the law) to access someone's WiFi network without their permission. Make sure you have permission from the network owner before using any of these methods.
Use WPS to connect without a password
WPS stands for WiFi Protected Setup. WPS is a security standard that works on networks using the WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security protocols. WPS has been replaced by DPP (Device Provisioning Protocol), which is discussed in the next section.
Notes: Android 10 and higher use the more secure DPP Wi-Fi connection rather than WPS. This section has been retained for older devices that use WPS.
Stripped of tech chatter, WPS means if a WiFi router is located in a location that is physically accessible to guests. Guests can create a network connection to the router by pressing a button on the router, rather than entering a password. This is where the “not so easy” statement above comes from. You generally won't have access to routers in a public place, but you CAN use WPS in a residential setting, assuming the tenant or landlord lets you "touch" their router.
WPS was a very common method for connecting guest users in a home or small office environment. Since people outside the building or in a set of rooms had no physical access to the router, they had no way to surreptitiously steal WiFi service. Only people you invited were able to access your WiFi network without a password. Pressing a button on the router's control panel is much easier than entering a random 16-digit security code on a small smartphone keypad.
Using WPS is very simple. Typically, all you'll need to do is make sure you have the correct settings on your smartphone (Android 9 or earlier) or other guest device, and make sure you can physically access the router. Here's how.
Note: The exact steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system and version.
- Start the " Settings " app from the home screen.
- Navigate to the “Network and Internet Settings” section.
- Press « Wi-Fi. »
- Select “Additional settings. »
- Press the “Connect by WPS button” option.
- Then a dialog box should open asking you to push the “WPS Button” on the router.
- You have about 30 seconds to do this before the WPS handshake protocol stops, then you will need to repeat this step. Push it “WPS Button” if you haven't already, it's usually clearly labeled "WPS."
- Your phone automatically connects to the Wi-Fi network and you shouldn't have to repeat these steps unless you tell your device to forget the Wi-Fi connection.
Notes: For some routers, there is a WPS PIN instead of a button. You'll need to tap this option in your internet settings and then enter the PIN code, which is usually found on a sticker under the router.
WPS was a very convenient and practical method to connect to a WiFi network without a password. However, it was prone to password and SSID hacking, mostly from hacked Internet of Things (IOT) devices. Unfortunately Apple refused to support the WPS standard and Android removed the option in Android 9 updates. This basically means that our new technology will not have this option. Of course, you have already read part of it above.
Use DPP to login without password
Android 10 and later replaced WPS with DPP security connections, which seals data transmission more tightly and makes it easier for devices to connect to routers without having a password. Today, you may know this type of connection as Direct Wi-Fi, which uses DPP connectivity.
Here's how to use DPP to connect to routers without having a password.
Router guest mode without password
Another option for sharing WiFi connectivity with guests without having to worry about passwords is for you, as the network administrator, to set up a guest network on your router. Almost all modern routers support the guest network feature, and you can leave the password blank on the guest network (or have a very simple password that's easily entered and shared).
The downside of a guest network with no password or a trivial easy-to-guess password is that it's not very secure if you're around people. It's probably fine for your mountaintop cabin, though. Guest networks will work for any type of device.
Follow these steps to set up a guest network on your router:
- Open your computer's browser and paste your router's IP address into the address bar. Usually the address will be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. The IP address is almost always printed somewhere on your router.
- Use your administrator credentials to log into the router.
- Once connected, you will need to locate the Guest network option. You will probably find it in the Wireless settings section.
- Search and activate Guest network.
- Next, name your guest network (enter its SSID – we recommend using the usual network name and adding “- Guest”) and set the password. You can go for something as simple as "Ourhouse" or "guest-password". You can also leave it empty.
- Click it save to confirm the settings and create the network.
Another nice feature of a guest network is that you can (via your router's control panel software) limit the bandwidth of the guest network, so that guests in your house or your neighbors' children can't. perform their 50 gigabyte torrent on your account.
Use a QR code to access WiFi without password
If you want to access someone's WiFi network or allow them to use yours without using a password, you can always use QR codes instead. Keep in mind that the QR code method is a bit complicated and requires some technical savvy. Honestly, it would be easier to write down the password and give it to your guest, but for some people it's a better solution. Here are the basic steps to share someone's Wi-Fi using QR code scanning.
- Launch the browser on your friend's computer and go to the QR Code Generator QR Tips.
- You will see the data types menu on the left side of the screen. Click the radio button next to WIFI connection option.
- After that, ask the network owner to enter the network name (SSID) and password. They must also select the type of network from the drop-down menu.
- When the site generates a QR code, print it out on a blank sheet of paper.
- Launch any QR code scanner app on your phone. If you don't have such an app, download and install one from Google Play; this one is very popular, well rated and free. If you have an iPhone, the built-in camera app will do.
- Scan the code with your phone. This should automatically connect you to the Wi-Fi network.
You can also download a third-party app and convert the QR code to NFC tag. Here's how to do it with the WiFiKeyShare app.
- Download the app from Google Play to your friend's phone.
- Once the download is complete, launch the app.
- Let your friend enter their network settings to generate the QR code.
- When the code appears, tap the NFC tab to see its NFC equivalent.
- Send the NFC tag to your own phone. You should be able to connect to the WiFi network with no problem, as all Android versions of Lollipop 5.0 and newer support NFC tags.
Warning: ALWAYS protect your Wi-Fi connection
Access WiFi without password
So now you know the basic methods to connect to Wi-Fi without password. Remember that you should always use open networks with care, after all, you never know who is spying on that network.
Did you manage to connect to Wi-Fi without password? Let us know in the comments below.