New Router? Simplify Network Setup by Reusing Your SSID and Password

Modern wi-fi router on light table in roomStudio Aquarius / Shutterstock

Do you have a shiny new Wi-Fi router to help you with all of your daily internet activities? You are probably not alone, thanks to the rise of video conferencing, streaming, and other internet-related activities at home. But the worst part is updating all your devices with the new Wi-Fi name and password. Unless you do the smart thing and reuse your SSID and password.

Every new router, Wi-Fi or whatever, comes with a predefined SSID (Service set identifier) and password. It’s tempting to continue with this, because you don’t have to fiddle with administrative settings to update anything. But you work a lot more on yourself. If you replace the routers and keep the new SSID and password combo, that means you need to update every Wi-Fi device in your home.

It’s all of your cellphones, tablets, laptops, smart speakers, smart TVs and more. Modern homes have gone from half a dozen connected Wi-Fi devices to dozens of Wi-Fi devices. But you don’t have to go through that. Make your life easier by changing the SSID and Password of the new router to match the SSID and Password of your old router.

When your Wi-Fi devices try to connect to your network, the first thing they do is find a network that matches the SSID you previously told them to use. It won’t know that the router hardware has changed, just that the address is correct. Then it will provide the password, which matches, and connect automatically. You don’t have to do anything to reconnect all of your devices. they will connect automatically.

It’s like your extended family is coming to visit your house. You could have demolished the old place, built a new one, and reused the locks. As long as your address and locks are the same, they will be able to find the place and enter with the keys you provided.

Of course, life isn’t always easy, so there are two exceptions to this advice that we need to mention. Firstly, it may not work if you are upgrading from an old router that uses a obsolete security protocol like WEP. Even if you use the same password, it will not be the same for the machines involved.

Essentially, the encryption scrambles your password differently, so there won’t be a match. It doesn’t matter if the plain text is the same; the end result is not. Just like you can’t decode an encrypted message sent with old encryption, and all you have is the new encryption.

But you better have made the switch anyway; outdated protocols are easy to hack and put your home at risk. And for the foreseeable future, you will be able to use these tips when upgrading.

The other exception is if you are using a very weak network password or worse, no password. If your current Wi-Fi password is “Password” or if you don’t have one at all, stop this. You ask someone to use your network for whatever they want. If your Wi-Fi already seems slow, this might be the very problem you’re facing.

But for everyone, save a lot of time and effort and rename your SSID and password. If you are using a new MESH router, you can probably download an app to accomplish this. It’s much easier than the admin settings of old routers. Even some newer non-mesh routers use apps, so check that out first. You’ll thank yourself later.

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