How to Change Your Wi-Fi Network Name and Password

Changing your Wi-Fi network name and password is a simple and important way to keep your devices secure, but it can also be a bit daunting. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter if you have Xfinity, AT&T, or any other service provider—the steps to changing your Wi-Fi settings are the same. The process is also similar across different router manufacturers, like NETGEAR or TP-Link.

Update password on standalone routers and wireless gateways

The whole process of changing your Wi-Fi network name and password can be broken down into four main steps:

These steps are pretty simple, but there’s a bit of variation depending on various factors, like what kind of device you’re using to connect. Keep reading for a more detailed breakdown of these steps.

Pro tip:

All standalone routers and wireless gateways provide a web interface so you can change the settings. However, your router’s manufacturer may also provide a mobile app that allows you to change the network name and password easily from your phone or tablet. Use the mobile app if available and then skip ahead to the testing portion of this guide.

Get your router’s IP address

The first step is to connect to your router so that you can access its settings.

Part 1: Connect wirelessly or with a cable

If you’re setting up a new router for the first time, there’s usually an Ethernet cable in the box that will allow you to connect a device directly to your router. This is probably the easiest way to set things up, but sometimes this won’t work. Many slim laptops, like MacBooks, don’t have Ethernet ports and require a USB adapter for a wired connection to the network. Sometimes it’s more convenient to use a phone or other mobile device.

To connect wirelessly, you’ll need the default network name and password for your router. These can be found in the instruction manual and sometimes found on the router itself, printed on a sticker or label. The network is often labeled as the “SSID.”

If you’re changing the settings on a network that’s already set up, you don’t need this default information and can just connect to the network with the name and password you typically use.

Part 2: Find your router’s default IP address

Next, you’ll need the IP address for your router. There are several ways to do this, depending on what kind of device you’re using:

Windows 10

You can use the IPCONFIG command to get the IP address. To do this, follow these steps:

Windows 10 Get Router Address

Step 1: Right-click on the Start button and select Windows PowerShell on the Power User Menu.

Step 2: Type the command “IPCONFIG” into Windows PowerShell and press the Enter key.

Step 3: Write down the number listed next to Default Gateway.

macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur Get Router Address

Step 1: Click on the System Preferences icon on the Dock or click the Apple logo in the top left corner, followed by System Preferences on the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Select Network.

Step 3: If you’re on a wired connection, write down the number next to Router.

If you’re on a Wi-Fi connection, click the Advanced button.

Step 4: Click on the TCP/IP tab.

Step 5: Write down the number next to Router.

iOS 14/iPadOS 14

iPad Find Router Address

Step 1: Tap to open Settings.

Step 2: Tap on Wi-Fi.

Step 3: Tap on your network’s name.

Step 4: Write down the number displayed next to Router.

Android 11 (stock)

Step 1: Swipe a finger down from the top to expand the Notification Shade and tap the “cog” icon to open the Settings panel.

Step 2: Tap on Network & internet.

Step 3: Tap on Wi-Fi.

Step 4: Tap on the “cog” icon displayed next to your network’s name.

Step 5: Tap on Advanced.

Step 6: Scroll down and write down the number displayed next to Gateway under Network Details.

Android 10/11 (Samsung)

There’s no way to find your router’s IP address on a Samsung phone, but you can get an idea using the phone’s IP address.

Step 1: Swipe a finger down from the top to expand the Notification Shade and tap the “cog” icon to open the Settings panel.

Step 2: Tap on Connections.

Step 3: Tap on Wi-Fi.

Step 4: Tap on the “cog” icon next to your network’s name.

Here you will see your Samsung phone’s IP address. Generally, the first three portions address the router, and the last portion is your device. For example, “192.168.7” is the router and “155” is your device. So, the router’s full address is probably 192.168.7.1.

Many mobile apps developed for analyzing networks, such as Network Analyzer, make it easy to find your router’s IP address. Using an app is also a handy way to find your router’s IP address using an Android device.

Log in to your router using a browser

Now that you have the IP address of your router, you can access its settings using a standard web browser like Firefox or Chrome.

Step 1: Open any web browser and type the router’s IP address in the address bar.

Step 2: Your router’s web interface appears within the browser. Log in using your username and password.

Pro tip:

If you haven’t previously set up a username and password, you must log in using the defaults. Different brands of routers have different default usernames and passwords, but they are usually very generic. In most cases, the combo is “admin” and “password.” 

This information is often printed on a sticker somewhere on the router itself. Otherwise, refer to your router’s instructions to find the correct username and password, or go to the manufacturer’s website, which will often list them as well.

Set up your wireless network

Once you log in to your router, you’ll quickly discover that there are many settings you can adjust. However, we’re going to focus on just two: your network name and password.

Part 1: Change your network name

Linksys Router Change Name and Password

Your network name, often referred to as its SSID, is how people will see your network when they are searching for Wi-Fi networks on their devices. By default, this will usually be the name of the router manufacturer with some added numbers. You can change this to whatever you want, as long as it’s a name that you will quickly recognize, especially if you’re in an urban area where there are many overlapping Wi-Fi networks.

The following instructions are based on a Linksys router, so they may differ from what you see on the screen.

Step 1: Click on Wi-Fi Settings listed on the left under Wi-Fi Settings.

Step 2: Enter a new name in the text field next to Wi-Fi Name. Do this for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but be sure they’re different.

Step 3: Click the Apply button.

Part 2: Set up your network security

Once you’ve named your network, you want to secure it with a good password so that passersby can’t steal your Wi-Fi or, worse, use your network to distribute malware to your devices.

Pro tip:

Want to keep your home network secure? Check out the best home routers for security.

There are several options for security protocols, including simply leaving your network open, but the best option is WPA2, also known as WPA2-PSK or AES. This allows you to put a password on your network.

As with any password you frequently use, make sure that it’s something you can remember. Also, it’s important not to use a password that you also use for important sites, especially if you’re going to be giving it out to guests who want to use your Wi-Fi.

The following instructions are based on a Linksys router, so they may differ from what you see on the screen.

Step 1: Click on Wi-Fi Settings listed on the left under Wi-Fi Settings.

Step 2: Click the download arrow next to Security Mode and select WPA2 Personal on the drop-down menu. Do this for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Step 2: Enter a new password in the text field next to Wi-Fi Password. Do this for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but be sure they’re different.

Step 3: Click the Apply button.

Test your new network settings

You have now updated the Wi-Fi network name and password. But before you pack up your laptop and go about your business, you should double-check to make sure everything’s working.

Part 1: Test the wireless connection

Grab a device and find your new network name in the list of available networks. Enter your new password to make sure you can connect wirelessly. It’s better to find out now than having to start the process all over again when you’re late for a Zoom meeting or two minutes away from winning an auction on eBay.

Part 2: Reconnect other devices

Now that you updated the network’s name and password, all the devices that were previously connected to your Wi-Fi network will need their information updated so they can reconnect. Remember that this doesn’t just include all your computers and mobile devices, but smart TVs, smart thermostats, security systems, and any other devices that use your Wi-Fi network to connect.

Is your new home Wi-Fi network too slow? Consult our guide on how to increase the speed of your home Wi-Fi.

Update password on mesh networking kits

Mesh networking kits are different from your standard router. You can’t access a backend web interface to change the settings. Instead, you use a mobile app to log in to an account and make adjustments. That also means you don’t need to go out of your way to locate the kit’s IP address as you would with a standard router.

The following instructions are based on the Eero kit, so they may differ from what you may see on your screen.

Step 1: With the Eero app open, tap on the Settings icon located in the bottom right corner.

Step 2: Tap on Wi-Fi Name.

Step 3: Tap in the new name and then tap on the Save button.

Step 4: Tap on Wi-Fi Password.

Step 5: Tap on the Edit Password button.

Step 6: Enter a new password and then tap on the Save button.

Pro tip:

Is your old mesh networking kit slow as snails and obsolete? Consult our guide on the best mesh Wi-Fi systems to find your upgrade.

Update password using your ISP’s app

Many ISPs provide mobile apps so you can easily pay your bill, add or remove services, and manage the router or wireless gateway. The following instructions are based on Spectrum’s cable internet service as an example, so they may differ from what you see in your ISP’s app.

Pro tip:

If you have Spectrum’s wireless gateway but you’re using a router you purchased from a store, these instructions only apply if you’re still using the gateway’s Wi-Fi. Go to the first section in this guide for instructions on making changes to your store-bought router.

Step 1: Open the My Spectrum app.

Step 2: Tap on the Services icon displayed at the bottom of your screen.

Step 3: Tap on Update.

Step 4: Enter a new network name, a new password, or both.

Step 5: Tap on Save Changes.

Author -

Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for HighSpeedInternet.com. Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.

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