How to Unlock a Secured Wi-Fi Connection

Despite the risks, sometimes unlocked Wi-Fi is the way to go

Unlock your WiFi

Sometimes, there's a need to open unlock your Wi-Fi and give access to the public. Maybe you're creating an open access point for your business, or you're having a party and don't feel like sharing the Wi-Fi password with everyone. In any case, opening up your wireless network is simple, but the process varies based on your router.

Instructions in this guide can only give you a general idea of the process, but you're going to need to try with your router or look up the manufacturer documentation to fill in the specifics.

How to Unlock a Wi-Fi Connection

  1. Launch your preferred web browser. In the address bar, enter your router's IP address.

    On most routers, the default IP is 192.168.1.1. You'll probably find your router at that address, unless you configured it differently.

  2. Before you can access your router's administrative interface, you'll need to enter your username and password.

    If your ISP set this up for you, they probably gave them to you, and you'll find them on the instructions for your router or somewhere similar.

  3. When you arrive on your router's admin page, you'll notice a ton of information about your router and your wireless network. Every manufacturer is different, and the menu will vary slightly, but you're probably going to select either a Wireless or Network tab in the main navigation menu to find the controls you need.

    Router settings on Tomato
  4. From there, you may need to look under a sub-menu and select Wireless Security. Otherwise, you'll probably find the settings for your wireless network all on the same page, so scroll through, and see if you can find settings for Security or Security Mode.

    WiFi security settings
  5. After you locate it, you'll notice it's set to WPA2 Personal or something similar. Select the provided dropdown menu and select Disabled.

    WiFi security unlocked

    Doing so will probably cause several other security settings to disappear, including your password.

  6. With the wireless encryption disabled, locate the Save and Apply buttons for your router.

    They're usually at the bottom or to the side of every page. Scroll all the way to the end of the page you're on, if you don't see them.

  7. Select Save, wait for the page to reload, then select Apply to make the change permanent.

    Again, the exact options may differ slightly based on your router.

  8. Your router is now accessible by everyone and you can connect without a password.

  9. When you're ready to re-enable your security, return to the router's settings, select the appropriate security dropdown, then select WPA2 Personal. Use AES encryption, create a strong password, then save and apply the changes again for them to take effect.