The manufacturers of wireless routers know that most users don’t know how to set up WiFi at home. To make things a bit easier, they have created convenient setup applications and management consoles that neatly hide all the technical complexity behind a pretty user interface and plain language.
But there are some WiFi settings that are so important and so easy to understand that it makes sense to make an effort to understand them.
There’s no point in learning how to change WiFi settings like the wireless password or network name unless you also learn how to access WiFi settings, so let’s start with that.
There are two ways for you to get to your WiFi settings. You can:
Here’s a brief overview of how to log in to your router’s admin interface:
If there’s a companion mobile app available for your router, like the Linksys App, then all you need to do is install it on a mobile device connected to the router. When connecting for the first time, you may be asked to go through a pairing process, but you can expect everything to be clearly explained.
Now that you know how to access your router, you can start changing WiFi settings.
Learning how to change Wifi settings is easy (the difficult part is knowing which settings to change).
Assuming you’ve successfully logged in to your router’s admin panel, you can now open the settings menu. Most routers separate general router settings from WiFi, LAN, and security settings.
To change WiFi settings, you need to navigate to the WiFi section of the settings menu, make your changes, and (sometimes) restart your router for the new setting to take effect.
To achieve the best WiFi performance possible, both your router and devices need to be configured correctly. In this section, we explain how to change your device’s WiFi settings regardless of if the device is running Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android.
To access Windows WiFi settings on Windows 11, you need to:
Mac WiFi settings on macOS 13 can be changed from the System Settings app:
To change iPhone WiFi settings and iPhone WiFi settings:
Unfortunately, iPhone WiFi settings and WiFi settings on iPad don’t display much information, so iOS devices are not nearly as useful for WiFi analysis purposes as many other users would like them to be.
That is, unless you download NetSpot for iOS and use it with WiPry 2500x by Oscium. With NetSpot and WiPry 2500x, your iOS device can become a powerful WiFi analysis tool, helping you deploy and troubleshoot networks.
To change WiFi settings on Android:
With the right WiFi site survey app for Android, you can do much more than change Android WiFi settings. For example, you can perform WiFi site surveys for a network of any size and capacity, analyze the data you collect with heatmap visualizations, and more.
Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, there’s a good chance that there are many different WiFi networks in your area. Every network broadcasts a piece of information called SSID (Service Set Identifier) to make itself unique identifiable.
In practice, the SSID of your network is its name, and you can easily change it from your router’s WiFi settings menu:
Because WiFi network names can be seen by anyone, users often give their networks funny WiFi names, such as:
Just remember to keep things kid friendly because you don’t want to anger your neighbors.
Passwords represent an important pillar of modern WiFi security because they prevent unauthorized users from connecting to private networks secured using technologies like Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3).
We strongly recommend you make your WiFi password at least 8 characters long. Make sure to include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Alternatively, you can use a very long passphrase (at least 4 words and 15 characters in length).
If your current WiFi password is weak, then you need to learn how to change WiFi passwords:
To set up WiFi correctly, you need to understand what other WiFi networks are present in your area. This information can be obtained using a WiFi analysis tool:
Most importantly, you want to know which WiFi channels are occupied the most so you can select one where interference won’t be such an issue.
If you discover that all channels on the 2.4 GHz band are occupied, you should consider switching to the 5 GHz band, which consists of 23 non-overlapping channels, instead of just 3. Many modern WiFi routers support both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum, so you may not even need to buy new hardware.
Finally, you should also figure out the best place for your WiFi router. Again, this is something a capable WiFi analysis application should be able to help you with:
In the next section, we introduce popular WiFi analyzer applications, each offering a unique set of capabilities.
Unlike other similarly capable applications, NetSpot has been designed for regular home users even though it’s fully capable of satisfying the needs of networking professionals who demand utmost accuracy.
When you launch NetSpot in its Discover mode, you will be automatically presented with a list of all available WiFi networks, complete with detailed information about them. You can, for example, see their signal strength indicators, security settings, channel settings, and so on.
You can then sort the list to see which networks have the strongest signal, or you can select several networks and display their WiFi channel distribution on a graph to find the least busy channel, among many other things.
InSSIDer is a WiFi scanner for Windows and Mac OS X. It’s a replacement for popular Windows WiFi scanner NetStumbler, introducing several new features and an improved user interface.
Among the features of inSSIDer are the ability to gather information from wireless devices, the ability to perform a routine spot check to ensure optimal channel selection, and much more.
WiFi Analyzer is a very simply WiFi analyzer for Windows. Its main advantage is the fact that it can be downloaded directly from the Windows Store.
Compared to the previous two applications, WiFi Analyzer is much simpler, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you want to do something very specific.
WiFi settings can be confusing, but guides like this one and the best software for setting up WiFi networks make them easier to understand and change. Our WiFi tool of choice is NetSpot because it combines simplicity with powerful features into one solution that you can use across all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. With its help, you will be able to take advantage of the best WiFi settings in no time.
To change your WiFi name and password, you need to log in to your router’s admin panel or smartphone app. There, look for general WiFi settings (name) and WiFi security settings (password).
To reach your WiFi settings, you need to log in to your router’s admin panel by pointing your web browser to the right IP address. Alternatively, you can use a companion smartphone app if the manufacturer of your router provides one.
You can find your WiFi password by going to your router’s WiFi security settings or by displaying it on your Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS device.