What The Tech: QR Codes and Passwords


CHARLOTTE, N.C. —- It’s one of today’s travel headaches. Logging onto a WiFi network at a rental, such as a condo or Airbnb. Last time we rented a condo the owner had put the name of the WiFi Network and the password on a handwritten post-it note on the refrigerator.

I entered what I saw only to be shown that the password was incorrect. I tried about 5 times until my son told me one of the characters was a “u” rather than a “4”.

There must be an easier way to share that much-needed information with guests. One way is to create a QR-Code with the Wi-Fi network name and password. It also happens to be one of the cooler ways to share information.

Here’s how to do it:

Visit any QR-Code generating website. I’m using www.qrcodegenerator.com, a free website tool that allows you to create QR codes for just about anything from sharing images, mp3 files, online payments, and WiFi network information.

To create a QR code for WiFi network login, you simply enter the name of the WiFi Network and the password. Tap “generate” and the QR Code generator website will create a unique QR code that will log people into the WiFi network.

All the guest needs to do is aim their smartphone camera at the code. A box appears on the screen, all they need to do is tap the box and they’ll be logged in to the right WiFi network, regardless of the security measures you’ve put in place.

You can print out the QR code within the website and even choose how large you’d like to make the code image. Place that paper copy of the QR code on the refrigerator, in the entrance, or on a table somewhere. It’s the simplest way I know to share the login information without you needing to be there.

This is also a good way to make guests in your home impressed with your tech-savvy skills. Just print out the code and put it in a frame for the guest bedroom. You can create QR codes using different colors and styles.

Keep in mind if you change your WiFi password, you’ll need to create a new QR code with the updated password.

This also won’t help guests log onto the network on a laptop since it requires a camera to read the code. So it’s a good idea to add an easy-to-read printed copy of the password below the QR code.

The QR codes will work on Android devices and iPhones and iPads.

If your WiFi network uses encryption (WPA, WPA2, OR WEP) you’ll need to enter that information in the QR code generator before generating the code.