How to Connect to WiFi without WiFi Password

In today’s world, the vast majority of Wi-Fi networks are password protected. Even public wifi is starting to get under control. Many places you visit have put their password in the building to prevent bandwidth thieves from the outside and to encrypt the data transfer on the inside. For convenience, manufacturers have come up with several ways for a guest user to access the network without knowing a password, but it’s not as simple as you think. This article shows you different methods to connect to WiFi without a password.

However, keep in mind that it is against good manners (and possibly the law) to access someone’s Wi-Fi network without their permission. Make sure you have permission from the network owner before using any of the methods below. For public institutions, the approval is on posters and signs.

To continue this story, there are two wireless protocols used for Wi-Fi networks that allow you to connect without a password, and one of them is outdated. Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is the discontinued setup that only works on older devices. WPS was replaced by Device Provisioning Protocol (DPP), also known as Wi-Fi Easy Connect™, and was released in 2018 by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Don’t worry though, your new devices can still connect using the SSID and password if you prefer. Only WPS connections are deprecated.

Although DPP/Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ replaced WPS, you may still have devices that can use WPS. Therefore, this article saves that content for reference. Either way, DPP is more secure and changes everything when it comes to passwords. Keep reading to learn more!

Use DPP/Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ to connect to routers without a password

Android 10 and later have replaced WPS with DPP security connections, providing a tighter seal on data transfers and allowing for more effortless device connection to networks and routers without a password. Today, you may know this type of connection as “Wi-Fi Easy Connect™”, which uses DPP connectivity instead of WPS.

Remark: Wi-Fi Easy Connect is NOT the same as Wi-Fi Direct, which links devices together as a network.

DPP and Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ Features:

  • The connection uses WPA3 security.
  • The connection helps Wi-Fi devices to connect to the router without using an SSID and password.
  • The connection allows devices to easily connect to Wi-Fi networks (with a router or without a router that uses a device to manage connections) without the need for an SSID and password.
  • The protocol uses NFC tags, QR codes, Bluetooth LE, and human-readable strings (the good old SSID/password combination) to gain network, device, and Internet access.

To better understand the technology, connect your smartphone to the router and then use the phone as a configurator connecting other devices to the network. Then all connected devices connect to the router and get internet and a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) connection. Your phone serves as an assistant to connect devices to the network, and more than one device can become a configurator.

Using DPP to connect without a router password.

  1. Go to Settings.”
  2. Select ‘Network and Internet’.
  3. Choose ‘Wi-Fi’.
  4. Scroll down (if your SSID list is long) and tap the “NFC scan icon” to the right of the “Add Network” row.
  5. A QR code scanner will appear. Scan a device’s printed QR code or a digital QR code into it if using a phone as a configurator. You can scan any device with a QR code. That’s it, but if no QR code is available, go to the next step.
  6. If no configurator device has a QR code available, search for a PIN code and enter it instead.

After completing the steps above, your device will do the rest. No passwords and no SSID list to browse. You now have a connection to the network and possibly an internet connection if available. Any new device that scans a QR code from another will be automatically connected as well.

Finally, you now know the main methods to connect to Wi-Fi without password. Remember that you should always use open networks carefully. After all, you never know who is snooping on that network. WPS connections are generally acceptable for old devices, but the newer DPP protocol is best. The router must support WPA3, as must the phone, tablet or computer. You only get that on newer devices and computers. Android switched to DPP/Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ from Android 10.

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Using WPS to connect without password

WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup. WPS is an older technology that works on networks that use the WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security protocol. WPS has been replaced by DPP (Device Provisioning Protocol), as discussed in the next section.

Remark: Android 10 and above use the safer one DPP Wi-Fi connection (Wi-Fi Easy Connect™) instead of WPS. This section of the article has been preserved for older devices that use WPS.

Stripped of the technobabble, WPS means that if a Wi-Fi router is located in a place that is physically accessible to guests, they can establish a network connection to the router by pressing a button on the device instead of entering a password. . You generally couldn’t access the routers in a public location, but you COULD use WPS in a residential setting, assuming the renter or homeowner let you “touch” their router.

WPS was a common method of connecting guest users in a home or small office environment. Since people outside the building or in a series of rooms had no physical access to the router, they couldn’t stealthily steal Wi-Fi service. Only people you invited could access your Wi-Fi network without a password. It’s much easier to tap a button on the router’s control panel than to enter a random 16-digit security code on the tiny keyboard of a smartphone.

Using WPS is very simple. In general, all you need to do is make sure you have the correct settings on your smartphone (Android 9 or earlier) or other guest device and make sure you have physical access to the router. Here’s how to do it.

Note: The exact steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system and version.

Using WPS instead of a password

  1. Start the “Settings” app from the home screen.
  2. Navigate to the “Network and Internet Settings” section.
  3. Tap on “Wi-Fi.”
  4. Select “Additional Settings.”
  5. Press “Connect via WPS button” choice.
  6. A dialog should then open stating that you click on the “WPS button” on the router. Android WiFi WPS Settings
  7. You have about 30 seconds to do this before the WPS handshake protocol closes, then you have to repeat this step. Press on the “WPS button” if you haven’t already, it’s usually clearly marked ‘WPS’.
  8. Your phone will automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network and you don’t need to repeat these steps unless you tell your device to forget the Wi-Fi connection.

Remark: For some routers there is a WPS PIN code instead of a button. You need to tap that option in your internet settings on your device and enter the PIN, which you can usually find on a sticker under the router.

WPS was a convenient and practical method of connecting to a Wi-Fi network without a password. However, it was prone to password and SSID hacking, mostly from hacked Internet of Things (IoT) devices and brute force on the PIN. Apple refused to support the WPS standard and Android removed the option in the Android 9 updates. This statement means that our newer technology does not have this as an option. You have of course already read part of it above.

Using guest mode router without password

Another option to connect without WiFi password besides WPS is to use a “Guest” WiFi connection. The newer DPP protocol does not require a guest option. This type is different from connecting to a secure network as a guest as mentioned earlier. A “Guest” network, which you may already know, is a Wi-Fi network that is usually unsecured/unencrypted and does not require a password to connect. The term “usually” was used because some guest networks are set up with a password like encrypted connections, except the signal is not encrypted and can be easily intercepted.

Most public institutions that offer free Wi-Fi have the “Guest” connection without a password. Depending on the network used, most require you to agree to the terms and conditions, which appear as a browser pop-up. Once you select “Agree” or “Accept”, the gateway to Wi-Fi internet access will open.

The downside of a guest network without a password is the potential bandwidth limits set by the company and the fact that the connection is not secured by encryption. However, it’s probably fine for your mountain cabin or your second home on Mars. Either way, guest networks work for any device type.

Using a QR code on WPS to access WiFi without password

If you want to access someone’s WPS Wi-Fi network, you can always use QR codes instead. Keep in mind that the QR code method is a bit complicated and requires some technical knowledge.

Some routers have a QR code on the back or bottom, usually near the SSID and default password information. However, this method only works for factory-set SSIDs and passwords. In addition, the QR code on newer routers may be for DPP/Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ connections instead of WPS.

If the user has changed the SSID name or password at any time, the printed QR code of the router will become unusable. Regardless of that drawback, this method is mostly used for smartphones and tablets as laptops usually don’t offer a QR scanning device or app.

Using the router’s QR code to access someone’s Wi-Fi

  1. On the iPhone, open the camera app and go to ‘Settings’. Make sure QR code scanning is enabled and then proceed to step 3. For Android users, proceed to step 2.
  2. On Android, download an app that scans QR codes.
  3. Launch the QR code app on Android or the camera app (iPhone/iOS) and scan the QR code on the back of the router.
  4. Now you should receive a banner or notification to connect to the Wi-Fi network. Tap the Wi-Fi SSID to connect.

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