When connecting to a network, often people get the notification “Network Security Key Mismatch”. This is a relatively rare scenario, though, as most people have multiple devices connected wirelessly at any time. What is this, and how can we fix this issue? That’s what we are going to introduce today.
A Network Security Key Mismatch occurs when one of your devices cannot access the secure network you’ve set up at home. This is due to a mismatch between your WiFi encryption key and the key stored on any wireless devices associated with that network.
Suppose all of your Internet-connected wireless devices are displaying a “Network Security Key Mismatch” message. In that case, it means there has been an inadvertent change in one or more keys for your wireless router. Or change in extender, which can happen due to interference, a weak WiFi signal, or poor device placement. If only one device is affected by this issue, it’s because it was recently added or removed from a given network.
Impact of Network Security Key Mismatch
Network security key mismatches are typically limited to specific devices not being allowed to access the Internet. This can be a minor inconvenience for users who have 1 or 2 devices affected. When a Network Security Key Mismatches, you won’t be able to connect to the network as the password you entered does not fully match with the password of that particular network.
Suppose one of your primary wireless streaming media players isn’t working even though you’re can connect wirelessly via another device. In that case, there’s likely an additional problem that needs attention in addition to the network security mismatch.
Additionally, don’t forget about the possibility of advanced problems related directly or indirectly to WiFi connectivity, including human error. Although it’s always possible that a device is experiencing an issue with its internal wireless radio or the associated drivers. A quick way to rule out any physical hardware problems is to temporarily connect your device directly to your router via Ethernet cable instead of wirelessly.
If the problem persists, you’ll need to investigate potential further WiFi issues on both your device and router.
Top Fixes For Network Security Key Mismatch Errors
If you have only one or two devices that are affected, then try these things before doing anything else:
- Power off all devices except your primary computer/laptop. Restart them in the proper order (modem first, then primary computer/laptop). Wait at least 5 minutes, then attempt to connect again.
- Power off all devices except your primary computer/laptop. Restart them in the proper order (modem first, then primary computer/laptop). Wait at least 5 minutes, then power on your router last. Once you have done rebooting it, check all of your wireless devices to see if they can connect without an issue. If you have a more advanced router with traffic monitoring capability, ensure it displays normal network usage before attempting to reconnect any wireless devices.
- Ensure that only one device has WiFi enabled while you’re troubleshooting this problem. If multiple devices are actively trying to use WiFi simultaneously, it can lead to connectivity issues for other gadgets even if their settings are perfectly configured.
How to Resolve a Network Security Key Mismatch?
Once you’ve determined that the Wireless security key mismatch is to be expected (i.e., because one of your devices recently joined or left the network), there are three possible resolutions: Reboot your router/modem, reboot your wireless device, or reset and re-join the wireless network in question according to these instructions:
Reboot Your Router / Modem
This will only temporarily resolve the issue and should only use it if all other methods fail. While we usually recommend avoiding unnecessary reboots of standard household IoT devices such as routers, it’s often worth taking this step anyway when troubleshooting any wireless device connection issues. If you need help with reboot your specific router, please refer to the manufacturer’s support site or user manual.
Reboot Your Wireless Device
This is a temporary solution and should only be used if all other methods fail. This solution will resolve the issue for most users; however, it’s possible that there could be something wrong with either the device itself or the configuration of its current network.
Reset And Re-Join The Wireless Network
This is generally the recommended method for resolving this issue since it doesn’t require you to change any settings on your wireless devices. This solution will work in most cases, but some users may experience problems if their router/modem cannot automatically retrieve the proper security key after re-joining the network.
Most users should be able to resolve this issue by following the three basic steps outlined above. Keep on repeating the above steps to resolve the issue. Network security key mismatches happen to specific devices not being allowed to access the Internet. This can be a minor inconvenience for users who have 1 or 2 devices affected, but it can also be effectively disabling if multiple devices are concurrently experiencing this issue.