Anytime you have someone new over your house, one of the first questions they’ll ask is, “What’s the wifi?” Sure, you could tell them, but do you even know? To be honest, I don’t. If you’re like me, you have some convoluted wifi name and password combo on the bottom of your router you need to consult every time it’s needed. Luckily, there’s an easy way to step up your wifi sharing game without needing to change passwords or commit anything to memory.
Of course, the situation isn’t as bad as it used to be. If you and your guest both have iPhones, you can share your network credentials with a single tap. That said, to start that process, your friend first needs to choose your wifi network from the list, and they need to be a contact in your phone, adding extra steps to what could be a seamless setup.
On the Android side of things, you can share your wifi password using a built-in QR code. Again, more convenient than the past, but there’s room for improvement. You shouldn’t need to get involved at all when guests want to hop on the wifi.
How NFC can improve wifi password sharing
In 2022, the solution to sharing wifi passwords as quickly as possible all comes down to NFC. You probably use NFC (near field communication) quite frequently, since it’s the main tech behind mobile payments (e.g. Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay). When you hover your smartphone over the POS terminal, the NFC chip in your phone communicates with the NFC chip in the terminal, and conducts the payment process from there.
That same seamless tech can be yours for a variety of use cases. But in this particular case, we’re going to focus on using it for sharing the wifi. Just as you scan an NFC tag to pay for your morning coffee, you can scan an NFC tag to instantly connect to the current wifi network. That way, you could place the NFC tag in a convenient location, like your entry way, and direct guests to wave their phones over it to connect to wifi, no password needed.
While it might seem like something reserved for businesses or corporate environments, NFC itself is a very accessible and affordable technology. You can pick up NFC tags in packs of 10, 30, 50, or even 100.
The only issue is this: While you can set up NFC tags from any smartphone, as of now, only Android devices can connect to wifi from an NFC tag. While iPhones obviously have NFC, iOS won’t allow you to directly connect to wifi from one. It’s a bummer, too, since this hack works so well on Android — but there is a workaround to make things easy for everyone.
How to share your wifi password with NFC
Setting up the tags is pretty simple. As demonstrated by TikTok creator b_turn50, you just need the free NFC Tools app for iPhone or Android. Open the app, tap “Write,” then tap “Add a record.” Scroll down and tap on “Wi-Fi network.” Here, tap “Edit” under authentication and choose your wifi’s encryption type (most connections are WPA/WPA2-Personal). Now, enter your wifi network’s name under “SSID,” and password under “Password,” then tap “OK.”
Now, tap “Write,” scan a blank NFC tag when prompted, and the app will write your data to the tag. From here, the tag is set up to share on any Android device. All your guest needs to do is wave their Android over the tag, and they’ll be prompted to connect to the wifi without needing to punch in any password.
However, that leaves out your iPhone friends, of which you probably have plenty. While you could leave your wifi credentials out on a note next to the NFC tag, there are more creative and techie ways to go about it.
Add a digital note to the NFC tag
One thing to try, if you happen to have an Apple device handy, is adding a digital note to your NFC tag that iPhone friends can access when they scan the tag. That way, they’ll still see the credentials, even if it’s less convenient than it would be on Android.
First, open the Apple Notes app, then write down your wifi credentials here. You could title it something like “My Wifi,” with your wifi name and password listed below. Now, tap the share icon, tap “Collaborate,” then, under “Who Can Access,” choose “Anyone with the link.” Go back, then choose “Copy Link.”
Now, head back to your NFC Tools setup. Choose “Add a Record,” tap “URL/URI,” then paste your iCloud link in the text box. Choose “OK,” then make sure “URL/URI” is below “Wi-Fi Network” in the list of actions, so it only appears if the first action fails. Now, write that process to your NFC tag.
That combination should have these results: Your Android friends will scan the tag and see the option to connect to the wifi, while your iPhone friends will be blocked from doing so, prompting the link to the note to launch instead.
Create a QR code with your wifi credentials
While iPhones aren’t able to directly connect to wifi networks via NFC, they are able to via QR code. As such, you could create a QR code with your wifi credentials, print it out, and place it over the NFC tag. That way, iPhones users could scan the code, and Android users could have their choice: Scan the code, or, save time and simply move their phone close to the code/tag and pick up the wifi instantly.
Any QR code generator will do, but whether you pick a website or an app, choose one with a good reputation. You could try Bitly’s QR code generator, for example. Here, setup is similar to the NFC tag: Enter your network name, password, and encryption type, then hit “Download” to save the code to your computer. Now, print it out, and place wherever you’d like.