How to Connect to WiFi without WiFi Password
“What’s your WiFi password?” This is one of the commonly asked questions of visitors trying to connect to your WiFi at home, or of someone visiting a cafe or restaurant and trying to access an internet connection. However, this question is not just limited to these places given the massive importance that people place on WiFi these days.
WiFi is a term given to a wireless network that utilizes radio frequency signals to connect the internet between devices. Since its development in 1997, it has played an integral role in the modern and technological world that we live in right now. Almost everybody uses gadgets, from smartphones to computers. Others may not be able to imagine what life would be without WiFi! Homes, offices, and public places have WiFi connections installed because people just find it essential. Pretty much everybody with Internet service uses a WiFi network to share that service to all the devices in their home or workplace.
In today’s world, the vast majority of WiFi networks are password-protected, even public Wi-Fi has started to get controlled. Many places you go have their password posted in the building to help prevent bandwidth thieves from the outside and to encrypt the data transmissions on the inside. For the sake of convenience, manufacturers have created several ways for a guest user to get onto the network without knowing a password, and it’s easy, but it is not as simple as you think. In this article, you’ll see several methods to connect to Wi-Fi without a password.
Please note, however, that it is a violation of good manners (and quite possibly the law) to gain access to someone’s WiFi network without their permission. Make sure that you have the permission of the network owner before you use any of these methods.
Using WPS to Connect Without a Password
WPS stands for WiFi Protected Setup. WPS is a security standard that functions on networks using the WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security protocols. WPS has been replaced with DPP (Device Provisioning Protocol), which is discussed in the next section.
Note: Android 10 and above use the more secure DPP Wi-Fi connection (Wi-Fi Easy Connect™) rather than WPS. This section was preserved for older devices that use WPS.
Stripped of the technobabble, WPS means that if a WiFi router is located in a place that is physically accessible to guests. The guests can create a network connection to the router by pushing a button on the router, rather than by entering a password. That’s where the “not as easy” statement above came from. You generally didn’t have access to the routers in a public location, but you COULD use WPS in a residential setting, assuming the tenant or homeowner let you “touch” their router.
WPS was a very common method of connecting guest users in a home or small office environment. Since people outside the building or in a set of rooms didn’t have physical access to the router, they had no way of surreptitiously stealing WiFi service. Only people you invited in were able to get onto your WiFi network without a password. It is far easier to tap a button on the router’s control panel than it is to enter a 16-digit random security code on a smartphone’s tiny keyboard.
Using WPS is very simple. Generally, all you will need to do is ensure you have the right settings on your smartphone (Android 9 or earlier) or another guest device, and ensure you can access the router physically. Here’s how to do it.
Note: The exact steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system and version.
- Launch the “Settings” app from the Home screen.
- Navigate to the “Network and internet settings” section.
- Tap on “Wi-Fi.”
- Select “Additional settings.”
- Tap the “Connect by WPS button” option.
- Next, a dialog should open telling you to push the “WPS button” on the router.
- You have about 30 seconds to do this before the WPS handshake protocol shuts down, then you’ll have to repeat this step. Push the “WPS button” if you haven’t done so already—it is usually clearly labeled with “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.
Note: For some routers, there is a WPS PIN instead of a button. You’ll need to tap that option in your Internet settings and then enter the PIN, which is usually found on a sticker under the router.
WPS was a very handy and practical method of connecting to a WiFi network without a password. However, it was prone to password and SSID hacking, mostly from hacked Internet of Things (IOT) devices and using brute force on the PIN. Apple refused to support the WPS standard and Android did away with the option in the Android 9 updates. This basically means that our newer tech won’t have this as an option. Of course, you already read some of that above.
Using DPP/Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ to Connect to Routers without a Password
Android 10 and above replaced WPS with DPP security connections, which produces a tighter seal on data transmission and allows easier device connectivity to networks and routers without having a password. Today, you may know this type of connection as “Wi-Fi Easy Connect™,” which utilizes the DPP connectivity rather than WPS.
Note: Wi-Fi Easy Connect is NOT the same as Wi-Fi Direct, which links devices to each other as a network.
DPP and Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ Features:
- The connection uses WPA3 security.
- The connection helps Wi-Fi devices connect to the router without using an SSID and password.
- The connection allows devices to easily join Wi-Fi networks (with a router [or without a router using a device to manage connections]) without requiring an SSID and password.
- The protocol uses NFC Tags, QR Codes, Bluetooth LE, and human-readable character strings (the good ‘ol SSID/password combo) to obtain network, device, and internet access.
To better understand the technology, you connect your smartphone to the router, then use the phone as a configurator that connects other devices to the network. Then, all connected devices link to the router and get an internet connection, as well as a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) connection. Your phone just serves as the assistant to link devices to the network, and more than one device can become a configurator.
Here’s how to use DPP to connect to routers without having a password.
- Open “Wi-Fi Settings” on Android 10+.
- Scroll to the bottom of the “Accent Point” list. In the “Add Network” row, tap the “scan icon” on the right side.
- A QR Code Scanner appears. Scan a devices QR Code found on the device or digitally within it if using a phone as the configurator. You can scan any device holding a QR code. If no QR code is availalbe, skip to “Step 4.”
- If no configurator device has a QR code available, look for a PIN on the device and enter that instead.
That’s it! Your device handles the rest. You now have a connection to the network and possibly an internet connection if present. Any new device scans a QR code and automatically connects to the network.
Router Guest Mode Without a Password
Another option for sharing WiFi connectivity with guests involves setting up an unsecured guest network on your router. This is surely not the best option (security dangers) due to lack of encrypted data transmission and an open connectivity process, but it works. To set up a guest network on your router, you must be a network administrator. Nearly 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 is easily entered and shared).
The downside of a guest network with no password or an easily guessed trivial password is that it is not very secure if you are in proximity to people. It’s probably fine for your mountaintop cabin or your second home on Mars, however. Guest networks will work for any device type.
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. Commonly, the address will be either 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 you’ve logged in, you’ll need to locate the Guest Network option. You are likely to find it in the Wireless Settings section.
- Find and enable Guest Network.
- Next, name your guest network (enter its SSID – we recommend using the regular network name and adding “- Guest”) and set the password. You can opt for something as simple as “Ourhouse” or “guest-password”. You can also leave it blank.
- Click the Save button to confirm the settings and create the network.
One other nice feature of a guest network is that you can (via your router’s control panel software) throttle the bandwidth for the guest network, so that your house guests or neighbor’s kids can’t do their 50-gigabyte torrenting on your account.
Using a QR Code to Access WiFi Without a Password
If you’d like to access someone’s WiFi network or let them use yours without using passwords, you can always use QR codes instead. Bear in mind that the QR code method is a bit involved and requires some technical acumen. Honestly, it would be easier to write the password down and give it to your guest, but for some people, this is a better solution. Here are the basic steps to sharing someone’s Wi-Fi using QR code scanning.
- Launch the browser on your friend’s computer and go to the QR Stuff QR code generator.
- You will see the data type menu on the left side of the screen. Click the radio button next to the Wifi Login option.
- After that, have the network owner enter the network name (SSID) and password. They should also select the network type from the drop-down menu.
- When the site generates a QR code, print it on a blank piece of paper.
- Launch any QR code scanning app on your phone. If you don’t have this kind of app, download and install one from Google Play; this one is very popular, well-reviewed, and free. If you have an iPhone, the built-in camera app will do the trick.
- Scan the code with your phone. This should automatically connect you to the Wi-Fi network.
Alternatively, you can download a third-party app and convert the QR code into an NFC tag. Here’s how it’s done with the WiFiKeyShare app.
- Download the app from Google Play on your friend’s phone.
- Once the download is complete, launch the app.
- Let your friend enter their network’s parameters 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 without problems, as all Android versions from Lollipop 5.0 and newer support NFC tags.
A note of caution: ALWAYS protect your wi-fi connection
Accessing WiFi without a Password
So, now you know the basic methods for connecting to Wi-Fi without a password. Remember, you should always use open networks carefully, after all, you never know who’s snooping on that network.
Were you able to successfully connect to Wi-Fi without a password? Let us know in the comments below.