Ditching the Factory Defaults: How to Change your Wi-Fi Password
When you sign up to a broadband package with an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you can expect to be given a small but powerful command center called a router. This kit takes control of the local network for your home or business, bridging that wireless gap between your phone line and all of your connected devices.
Changing your Wi-Fi password may at times seem like a difficult task, but if you've ever connected a laptop or mobile device to your router, then you're already halfway there.
It’s Time for a Change
Though you may be content just sticking with the string of letters and numbers that are automatically assigned as your router password, there are a few reasons you might want to consider making the swap to something more familiar to you.
In a world where everything is going wireless and mobile devices are constantly refreshed every 1-2 years, you're going to find yourself reaching time and time again for that password, whenever you need to connect up a new device. The same applies to any visitors to your home; when they ask for your Wi-Fi password, do you really want to be climbing behind the furniture to reach it?
If you never change your password, then once somebody knows it, they'll always have access to your network. If you're running a small business with sensitive data, you'll want to keep that network secured. For tech-savvy criminals, it's even a backdoor into any devices you may have connected to the router.
Leading on from security, leaving your router open to third parties could result in some hefty costs or penalties to your internet service. If you have an agreed usage limit for the month and somebody's streaming movies or downloading large files on your network, then you're likely going to exceed your limits. In some contracts, this can come with financial penalties attached. Even if it doesn't, your ISP may still impose slower connection speeds for the rest of the month, affecting your network speed.
A Quick How-To
We’ve got a quick hit list for you, detailing how to change your Wi-Fi password with four of the biggest ISPs currently out there. But before we get started, bear in mind that your router password and Wi-Fi password are different things.
Your router administration login – that is, the credentials you use to access the router’s settings – is typically set to a factory default. The Wi-Fi password itself is something different; this is the string of letters and numbers that you or your guests will need to get access to the router’s wireless internet signal. This stuff is usually in the box, but if you’ve long since lost that or thrown it away – and who hasn’t? – then there’s a reset button that’ll return your login to the default settings.
Initial Steps for All Routers
Regardless of the provider that you use, the first couple of steps are below. Start with the IP address – that’s the string of numbers and dots – that relates to your service provider:
- Make sure you’re connected to your router, either wirelessly if you know the password, or with an Ethernet cable if you have forgotten your wireless password;
- Open yourself a fresh browser window, or tab in your existing browser session, and then input one of the following numbers into your address bar:
- Sky customers 192.168.0.1
- TalkTalk customers 192.168.1.1
- Virgin Media customers 192.168.0.1
- BT customers 192.168.1.254
Change your Sky Wi-Fi Password
- To keep things secure, you'll be asked for a username and password. This is the router login we mentioned above. For Sky, the default username for all customers is usually 'admin', and the password 'sky', so you'll be wanting to change this to something more secure once you’ve logged in;
- Depending on the age of your kit, you should now be looking for an option to 'Change Wireless Password', though it may also fall under 'Wireless Settings', 'Setup' or simply 'Wireless';
- Once you’re in, just choose your new wireless password – also called the Network Key – hit ‘Apply’ and you’re all set. You’ll need to reconnect all of your devices.
Change your TalkTalk Wi-Fi Password
- Log into your router to access the settings. For older TalkTalk routers, the username and password are usually both ‘admin’. If that doesn’t work, for newer models you’ll find the password on the router.
- Now you’re looking for the ‘Wireless Network Password’ or ‘PSI Network Key’. Once you’ve found it, choose your new password;
- Click either ‘Save’ or ‘Connect’, and you’re all set.
Change your Virgin Media Wi-Fi Password
- Log into your router using the default username and password, which should ‘admin’ and ‘changeme’, respectively, though this can vary. If you get no joy with these details, check the back of your router;
- There are a few different types of Virgin Media router, so things might vary a little at this point, but you’re looking for ‘Settings’ or ‘Advanced Settings’;
- Click on ‘Wireless’ once you’re in the Settings menu;
- Change your wireless key and then click ‘Save’ or ‘Apply’, depending on your router, and reconnect any home devices that use the internet.
Change your BT Wi-Fi Password
- Click ‘Advanced Settings’ once you’re on the landing page for your home hub;
- Click ‘Wireless’;
- BT don’t typically use default usernames and passwords like other providers, so you’ll have to log into your router using the details that can be found on the reverse of the machine;
- Replace the ‘Security Password’ with something new, by typing over the top of the old one. Again, depending on your router, this stage might look a little different;
- Click ‘Save’ or ‘Apply’ to save your new password.
Choosing A Secure Password
When you change your password, the first thing to make sure is that the password you choose is secure. Check out our article on Choosing A Secure Password, for our top tips when choosing your password.
Get In Touch
Remember, as a WiseGuys support customer we are always on hand to help with anything like this. So if you would like to change your password but want some help, just give us a call on 0808 123 2820 and we will be more than happy to assist you.