Retrieving your Wi-Fi passwords
Why bother typing in a password each time you need to connect to the net when your phone could do all the hard work for you? Since your phone maintains a log of saved Wi-Fi passwords you could use your file manager to retrieve forgotten passwords. One of the most important things you ought to know before following the instructions given below is that your device has to be rooted. Firmware privacy won't give you easy access to saved passwords. Unless you root your device, you won’t be able to search for your passwords and SSID’s.
Using file manager to retrieve passwords
1. Go to Google Play and download a free file manager app like ES File Explorer. You could also use WiFi Key Recovery if you choose.
2. After installation, open the ES File Explorer app and click on the menu icon, right next to the Home tab (top left hand corner of the screen).
ES File Explorer Menu
3. Navigate to Device and then open the System folder. Inside the System folder you will find another folder named etc
Finding the etc Folder
4. Click on that folder and look for the Wifi folder
Locating the Wifi Folder
5. Open the wifi folder and click on the wpa_supplicant.conf file. You'll have to select a text reader from the options you're given.
Retrieving passwords from wpa_supplicant.conf
6. You'll see a list of all your saved SSID's and passwords once the text reader opens.
Using old passwords
Although you'll be able to retrieve saved passwords using this method, the retrieved password may be of no use if the administrator has changed the password. So the next time you visit your favourite coffee-shop only to discover you can't login with the old password, you'll probably have to ask the staff for the new one.
Importance of securing your devices
Since there are new and improved technologies available to retrieve passwords, it's important to protect your device from snoopers.
If you're concerned about Internet security and Wi-Fi passwords, connect to a VPN. Android devices support VPN connections. It protects both your home Wi-Fi and your mobile data connections. You should also consider changing your SSID name to hide your home Wi-Fi network from others. When you change the network name, all devices connected to that network will lose connectivity. You will have to re-connect each device to the network with the new network name.
If you want to connect a device to your cellular data connection, use a USB cable to establish the connection. It's a more secure way to connect your phone to a tablet/computer.
Lastly, it's a good idea to monitor your Wi-Fi network speed occasionally. It will help you determine whether there are any network faults in your neighbourhood. WiFi Patrol is a good app for this purpose. It lets you monitor and control the speed of your Wi-Fi network. It also alerts you when the speed drops.
If you know how to set up and secure your Wi-Fi connections, you can have the world in the palm of your hands. Check out our post on creating strong Wi-Fi passwords. It will help you beef up your network security.