Getting My Network Key

Hello. We have a Linksys wireless router, which I set up with a laptop that has since died. We have the router set up so using the wireless network ‘requires the use of a network key (WEP),’ which hasn’t been a problem for six months since we didn’t have a laptop around, until now. Unfortunately, we lost the network key and other linksys paperwork when we moved and a couple of attempts at getting help from Linksys tech support have been frustratingly unhelpful. Any suggestions at how I can get that key, or do I need to reset the router (and is that a hassle)?

Look onine for the appropriate Linksys manual, which will tell you how to access the router configuration. This is done by opening a specific IP address (listed in the manual) in a web-browser. Note that to load it you need to be physically connected to the router, and there may be a password you’ve forgotten (or a default password you never changed).

This will give you nice, browseable access to the router configuration. Under security, or wireless, or some such (the manual can help you find it) will be the option to select WEP, and your current key.

If you remember the admin password for the router, you can log in and change the key. Otherwise, yeah, you need to reset. that’s not a big hassle, but reconfiguring afterward might be.

ETA: or, yeah, what he said.

Also please note that WEP security is not very secure. It requires you to use a fixed-length passkey, and that key is broadcast with every transmission, which means given a little time, it can be easily cracked.

WPA is much more secure. You can set your own, alphanumeric, variable length passkey, and this makes it easier to remember. It is better encryption, too.

For Linksys routers, try try typing in or in the address bar of the desktop connected directly to the router via LAN cable (since your laptop won’t be connected wirelessly). This should bring up a username/password prompt. Leave the username blank and type ADMIN in the password box (this is the default password for a lot of Linksys routers). As mentioned, that will bring you to a configuration page. Look for the wireless settings, then security settings. You can change your WEP password there. Also, AND VERY IMPORTANTLY, change the administrator password on the router so some nut can’t change your settings!

ETA: if the password to get into the config page doesn’t work, you can do a hard reset of the router. There should be a TINY button on the back you’ll have to push in with a pencil tip or something. That should reset everything.

As Flander says, be sure you have a very special network tool on hand if you need to reset! :wink: