What’s the best way to share your WiFi password with your friend, or any other person? Well, if your WiFi password is really strong then remembering it is not an option, instead, how about sharing your WiFi details using a QR code? Yes, you can share your Wi-Fi network’s SSID and Password using a QR Code with your friends and near and dear ones and in this post you will learn exactly how to do this.
A Quick Response Code, widely known as a QR code, is a type of machine readable 2 Dimensional bar code which generally consists of information about a product to which it is attached. Unlike traditional bar codes, QR codes can encode more information, as they have higher storage capacity and are easily readable by a scanner.
In short, here’s how this will work. You will first need to generate a QR code which contains your WiFi details (mostly the SSID and password). Once the QR code is generated, you can then print it out, or just save it on your device. To connect to your WiFi, your friend can scan that QR code and know your WiFi details.
Now, you can generate a QR code in three ways. Note that you need to use only any one of these methods, be it web based generator, Android based generator or iOS based generator.
QR Code Generator
Follow these steps in order to generate a QR code containing information about your wireless connection.
Web based Generator
1. On your computer browser go to QR Code Generator by ZXing Project and use the drop down menu to select Wi-Fi Network.
2. Once you have selected Wi-Fi Network, you are required to enter following details there:
- SSID: SSID stands for Service Set Identifier and this will be your wireless network’s name.
- Password: Enter the exact password of your wireless connection that you’d like to share with other people.
- Network type: Select from WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), WPA/WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and No Encryption. These are actually wireless encryption standards used to make your network more secure. Select the encryption standard depending on the type of protocol you are currently using with your network. In case you are using NO encryption with your network, then you should select at least WEP from your router’s security settings page. And if your router supports higher security protocols like WPA-PSK [TKIP] and WPA2-PSK [AES], then you should opt for one of them.
- Hidden: In case you have hidden (disabled SSID broadcast) your network from your router’s settings page, then you should check the box in front of this option. When your friends will scan the QR code, they will probably be able to know that your network don’t broadcast SSID and they have to enter all the details manually in order to connect with your network.
- Bar code size: Select the size of your QR code from small, medium and large. It is recommended that you should select the size as large or medium for better readability by a scanner.
- Error correction: Select the level of Reed-Solomon Error Correction algorithm from L, M, Q and H from the drop down menu for your QR code. Each correction level adds different amount of backup data to your code depending on how much damage the code is expected to suffer, and hence how much error correction may be required. A Level L QR code is able to suffer up to 7% of damage, Level M up to 15% of damage, Level Q up to 25% of damage and Level H up to 30% of damage.
- Character encoding: Use the drop down menu to select your code’s character encoding from UTF-8, ISO-8859-1 and Shift_JIS. Character encoding is a system of representing a repertoire of characters. It is suggested that you should opt for UTF-8 character encoding for your QR code.
Once you have entered/selected above mentioned details, click on Generate Code and the web interface will instantly generate your QR code:
Android based Generator
If you have an Android powered smartphone or tablet device, then download and install QR Droid application from Play store on your mobile device. Once the application has been successfully installed, follow these steps in order to generate a QR code for your wireless network:
1. Open the application and tap on Create button. The immediate next page will ask you what type of QR code you would like to generate with the application. Select Wi-Fi network from the list and the next page will ask you to enter following details:
- SSID: Enter the exact name of your network.
- Network type: Select the encryption standard for your network from WPA/WPA2, WEP and No Encryption.
- Password: Select the exact password for your network. Keep in mind that if you select NO Encryption under Network type. then you won’t be able to enter any password.
2. Once you have entered above details precisely, click on the Green button and the application will instantly generate a QR code for your network:
The application also allows you to customize the size and color of your code. You can also encrypt your code using the application and label/frame it as per your requirements.
iOS based Generator
If you have an iOS powered smartphone (iPhone) or tablet (iPad) device, then download and install QR Reader from the Apps store. Once the application has been successfully installed on your device, follow these steps in order to generate a QR code for your network:
1. Open the application and tap on Creator button present in the menu of the application:
2. On the next page tap on the small PLUS (+) icon present at the top right corner of the screen. When you tap on it the application will ask you to select the type of QR code that you’d like to create:
Tap on Wi-Fi Details under Special and you are required to enter following details on the pop-up window:
- Encryption: Select from Free, WPA, WEP and LEAP.
3. Tap on create button and the application will instantly create a QR code for you:
You can easily share the generated code via Email, Facebook, iCloud Photo Sharing etc. The application also allows you to save the image to your device’s photo gallery application and directly print the image, if your iOS device is attached to a printer wirelessly.
Reading/scanning the QR Code
With this, you now have generated a QR code containing your wireless credentials. It’s time to know how to decode this QR code? Again, you can follow any one of these methods to scan the QR code.
Browser based QR Code scanner
If you/your friend (with whom you have shared the code) is using Google Chrome browser, then install QuickMark QR Code Extension in Chrome. Once the extension has been successfully installed, right click on the image in your browser and then select Decode selected image:
The extension is capable of decoding almost any type of QR code and will give you following onscreen details:
- Raw text that is embedded within the QR code. The format for this raw text will be something like WIFI:S:Technostarry;T:WPA;P:Saqib;H:true;;
- Raw bytes.
- Bar code format.
- Parsed Result Type.
- Parsed Result.
For us the Parsed Result field is of prime importance because of the following reasons:
- The first line of this field depicts the SSID of the wireless network.
- The second line will give you the name of encryption protocol that the network is using.
- The third line will give you the password for the network.
- The fourth line will tell you whether the network is hidden or not. TRUE means HIDDEN, while FALSE means VISIBLE.
Enter above mentioned details on your Windows/Linux/Mac based computer while connecting with a network and your connection should be successful (provided that there is NO MAC Address Filtering in place).
Android based QR Code Scanner
If you have an Android powered mobile device, then you need to first install QR Droid on it and then install QR-WiFi Plugin developed by the same developer. Once the application and the plugin has been successfully installed, scan the QR code using your device’s camera and the application will give you following options:
- Connect to Network: If you tap on this option then the application will automatically try to connect your device to the network whose login credentials are embedded in the QR code.
- Copy: This option directly copies the credentials encoded within the code.
- Share: Allows you to further share the code using email, Facebook, Twitter etc.
- More info: This option when tapped will give show you the raw data and size of data encoded within the code.
- Edit: If you want to edit the credentials that are encoded within the QR code, then tap on this option.
Use the displayed credentials to connect with a wireless network.
iOS based QR Code Scanner
QR Reader for iOS can also read the QR code for you. Scan the QR code and the application will show you the SSID, Password and Encryption type for a wireless network. Use the displayed details to connect with a wireless network using the Wi-Fi Settings page of your iOS device.
So that’s how you can share your WiFi network details with your friends and family, and that too without remembering or typing the password!