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How Do I Get A WiFi Password?

Monday, June 3rd, 2013 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals, Uncategorized, Using The Internet

Harry from Auburn, CA writes: I get a strong WiFi signal in my apt, how do I get the password?

Thanks, Harry.

Answer: Harry, I will assume you don’t mean the WiFi signal generated by your own router. In that case you would be the person who set the password. If you’ve set up a WiFi network in your apartment and lost the password, this article has tips for retrieving it: Retrieving Your WiFi Network Password.

But if you’re just trying to use a secure WiFi network that your computer is detecting in your apartment, you would get the password by asking the owner for it. If your apartment complex offers free WiFi, you would ask at the office.  Otherwise, the signal most likely belongs to a neighbor or a business who is paying for that service.

If the network belongs to a business (like Starbucks or McDonalds) that offers free WiFi to customers, you can learn the password at the business. But usually they intend that service for customers using their computers or mobile device while they are on the premises. Though, normally they don’t make much of a fuss if neighbors use that network as long as you aren’t using so much bandwidth you slow things down.

If the network belongs to one of your neighbors, you would get the password from him or her, though since that person is paying for the service, they may be reluctant to share. It would be like someone knocking on your door and asking if they could plug their appliances into your outlets so they can run their stuff without paying the electric bill. Though, if they’re a really good friend, maybe they would be willing to split the cost of the service with you.

We get a lot of questions from readers trying to figure out how to piggyback onto their neighbors WiFi, so it’s probably a good time to emphasize that while many places offer free WiFi to customers and residents – WiFi isn’t free. Someone has to pay for the service.

Even if someone has neglected to secure their home WiFi network, that doesn’t entitle others to use it without permission. Just as an unlocked door doesn’t invite people to come in and have a snack in the kitchen.  That’s why it is very important to secure your home WiFi network because people will hop right on and use the service you’re paying for and you could get a nice bill telling you you’ve gone over your data limit.

~ Cynthia

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8 Responses to “How Do I Get A WiFi Password?”

  1. Mark says:

    Good article except for one thing. Comparing using someone’s Wi-Fi to hooking into their electric lines and not paying while used often is not analogous to using their Wi-Fi since if they hook in and use my electric lines my electric bill will go up. It is much more like hooking into my phone lines and making calls, assuming they don’t make long distance calls or I have unlimited long distance. If they use my phone line a lot it might interfere with my usage but it will not cost me any extra money, as long as the phone company doesn’t find out.

    • Shanker says:


      Though your contention that as long as long as it doesn’t affect the network buyer financially/technically, it doesn’t escape from being not so so good a practice.

      First, this action affects the seller who is entitled to profit from the new user. Assume, you’re the seller – Will you accept this practice?

      Secondly, even if it doesn’t affect the person paying the bill, it is only decent that one gets permission to use that facility.


    • audra says:

      Actually, Mark, some Internet providers have a cap on how much you can download in a month. If someone is utilizing that amount and is downloading large amounts of data, say they are streaming movies, and they cause the person who has paid for the service to go over their monthly cap, then yes, it would cost them extra, just as it would cost for extra electrical usage.

      • Sandy says:

        Yes, Audra! My ISP is satellite and has a DAILY limit on bandwidth. When it is reached, providing which plan they offer, one cannot go online for 24 hours. However there is a gap in the 24 hours between say 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. where it provides somewhat unlimited bandwidth so I use a download manager for those times. I believe Worldstart provides a link to them. It is vital for this girl to use security for my wifi. Thanks Worldstart for allowing us all the information you provide. I’m with Mike on that! You guys rock!!

  2. Mike Coloma says:

    I hope this helped Harry as much as it helped me!
    Thanks folks. You guys rock!

    • Barbara Pickett says:

      Recently bought a Kindle HDX – tried connecting to my neighbors wifi using her password and it wouldn’t work. Was there something else I should have done? Her site showed up when I turned it on, but it wouldn’t connect.

      I also tried to set up a router purchased through WorldStart a while back, and the phone connections on the ends are too large for my PC/Phone connections.

      Can anyone help me with these two questions?


  3. richard says:

    excellent article !!
    for Barbara … the large telephone looking connections are probably for the cables from your computer to your router and from your router to your modem.

  4. richard says:

    cat 5 or 6 or 7 cables

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