WPA is an abbreviation used for Wi-Fi protected access. It is a standard encryption protocol in use, to maintain the security of wireless computer networks. A WPA key is used to encrypt/decrypt data, such as your password for a bank account, that is transmitted on the wireless network. A WPA key (network security key) makes it a bit harder for any individual to monitor your data transmission and lay his hands on your sensitive information.
Where to Find the WPA Key?
Where to find WPA key? It is located in the router or the modem that your network is using. Well, try the underside of the routers in your network. Search for SSID which gives information about the network name, and WPA key which is also called the encryption key. If you don't find it there, then you can try a few of the ways, listed below, of finding WPA key for your computer.
Make sure your computer is connected to the wireless router with a cable. Launch a web browser by clicking on it or by opening "Run" prompt by pressing "Windows + R" keys. Type "iexplorer" (Internet Explorer), "firefox" or the name of your browser in it.
Type the following values one by one in the address bar of the browser, till you get a log-on window, prompting you for a username and a password. These values represent the addresses of the wireless modems or the wireless router. One of these values will enable you to access your wireless routers internal settings.
Note down the address that works for future use. For the username enter "admin" and for the password try "password" or "admin" and click OK. If this does not work then, in the next try, do not enter any value for the username and enter "admin" for the password field. If this fails, refer to the manual.
The chances are that the window will appear with the username and the password field completed. Clicking the OK button will take you to the "Settings" page of your router or modem. If this does not work, resetting of the modem or the router will be necessary. Do it after referring to the manual and your device will be restored to factory default.
After resetting the device, follow the instructions given in step 2, 3, and 4. Next, in the settings page open "Wireless" option and to populate required settings click on the Wireless link. Click on "Security (Advance)" and under "Network Authentication" select either WPA or WPA2. This is where you can find WPA key. Enter it when the system asks for it.
If you had to reset your device, then you will have to assign the key manually. You can do so by selecting any of the WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, or WPA-PSK + WPA2-PSK authentication and by entering a key (8-63 character long). Save and apply changes and reboot the modem or router.
Finding the WPA key is a must have knowledge that can be useful in many situations. It will help you supply a WPA key and connect your computer to the internet (wireless) after reinstalling Windows. The above steps will also come handy when a Wi-Fi enabled device such as a gaming device asks you to supply the key, when you want to play online games.