[Windows] Recover forgotten wireless access point passwords with WiFi Password RevealerAugust 1, 2013 7 Email article | Print article
Have you ever forgotten a sensitive account password before? What about a Wi-Fi access password for a local or public network? It can happen, especially if you opt to use pre-determined passwords instead of personal WEP keys. Those randomly generated passwords are pretty secure, but they can get quite complicated with all of those numbers, case based letters and symbols. WiFi Password Revealer is a Windows application that will allow you to find the password for a wireless network. However, there is one pretty big stipulation, you have to have connected to the wireless access point in the past, and you must have allowed Windows to store the password.
What is it and what does it do
WiFi Password Revealer will help you find a lost password for wireless access points. Of course, you have to have connected to the network at one point in time, and Windows also has to have the information stored, but there’s an even bigger obstacle than that. If the password has changed since the time you last accessed the network, obviously you won’t have much luck discovering it. It’s important to note that this program is not designed to help you crack into wireless networks, but instead get you reconnected to those you’ve used in the past.
- Will help you discover forgotten passwords for WiFi access points
- You must have connected to the network previously in the past
- Windows must have stored the related information
- The list results will be populated almost instantly the first time the application is started
- Results are organized and attributed based on the network adapter that was used when connecting
- You can export information to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xls format), HTML CSV, or standard Text file
- Lightweight, since it uses just over 8MB of RAM while running
- Tries to install bloatware during the install process, more specifically it tried to install Bing toolbar and make both MSN and Bing default landing portals in the default browser
- VirusTotal flagged this with 2/44 potential threats, Win32/OpenCandy by ESET-NOD32 and WS.Reputation.1 by Symantec- this is likely due to the bloatware mentioned above, but proceed with caution
- Will only display information for access points you’ve connected to in the past, but this is more of a limitation than a con
- Windows XP and 2003 Server information will be displayed in a HEX key format, this is a result of how the OS versions stores the data and it’s not caused by the program itself
- No portable version offered on the official website
At the very end of the install process, I did encounter some additional software. Meaning, the WiFi Password Revealer install package includes bloatware. Just pay attention during the process and make sure to decline all system changes and additional software. On my test machine it attempted to install the Microsoft Bing toolbar, and make both MSN and Bing my default portals. To decline, you just need to select “custom” and deselect the additional software installs. Refer to the image on the right for an example of how that should be done.
As noted by the developer, Windows XP and 2003 Server users will need to be a little handy in order to use this app properly. Those particular versions of Windows convert the password into 64 HEX digits in order to store the data. This means, when you use WiFi Password Revealer, it will return the HEX digit string instead of the simple password. There is no way to convert it back to the normal string, but apparently you can use the HEX digits instead of the original password to connect to the related WiFi network.
Once the application is loaded, it automatically populates a list with all the WiFi networks you’ve connected to in the past and their related password keys. It also lists information about the networks authentication type (WPA2, open, etc.), encryption level (WEP, AES) and connection type.
The connected networks are displayed in a dropdown tree view in connection with the wireless network adapter. That means if you have more than one wireless network adapter installed on your device, it will separate them out accordingly. If for some reason you have a lengthy list of adapters, you can collapse any one of the resulting lists by closing the tree.
If you need to, you can export all the data as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xls format), HTML, CSV or standard Text file. Although, I’m not entirely sure why you would want to keep a file on your machine that’s filled with a list of WiFi passwords, it just doesn’t seem very secure. Then again -before you jump down my throat- I suppose it’s not very secure anyway thanks to apps like this.
For reference, WiFi Password Revealer uses just over 8MB of RAM while running therefore it’s pretty lightweight. It’s a shame that the app isn’t portable, because it seems quite silly that you have to install such a small program.
Conclusion and download link
WiFi Password Revealer is a simple yet efficient application that will help you recover forgotten network passwords. There are limitations of the program, of course — it will only return usable results if you’ve connected to the access point in the past and allowed Windows to store the information — but those limitations are practical. Access point information is displayed according to the network adapter that was used to connect, which is convenient especially if you have more than one wireless adapter installed in your computer. Furthermore, it only uses a little over 8MB of RAM while running, which means it’s lightweight… but you will encounter bloatware during the install process, so if you decide to check this one out pay attention while doing so.
Overall, this is a great little tool if you’ve forgotten your WiFi password and you don’t want to hard reset the router or modem. However, I don’t recommend it. Why? Simply because there is a better program that does the same thing: NirSoft WirelessKeyView. Both WirelessKeyView and WiFi Password Revealer do the same thing — recover forgotten WiFi passwords. So what makes WirelessKeyView better? The fact that WirelessKeyView is portable, meaning not only will you not have to install it to use and can use it on external media like USB flash drives, and WirelessKeyView comes with no bundled bloatware during installation (since there is no installation required). If you need the ability to recover lost or forgotten WiFi passwords, check out WirelessKeyView.
Version reviewed: 220.127.116.11
Supported OS: Windows 2003/XP/Vista/7/8
Download size: 2.19MB
VirusTotal malware scan results: 2/44
Is it portable? No