Trying to connect the same PC or laptop to two separate Wi-Fi networks that have the same name can be a confusing experience. Here's how to change the stored password for a Wi-Fi connection in Windows in order to connect to two Wi-Fi networks that have the same name.
Stored network passwords can be useful, but not if you use two networks with similar names
QUESTION I frequently find myself trying to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot with the same name as one I use elsewhere, but with a different password. How can I change the stored password for a Wi-Fi connection in Windows? Would upgrading to Windows 8 make it easier?
HELPROOM ANSWER In Windows 7, open to the Start menu and type manage wireless networks into the Search bar. Double-click 'Manage Wireless Networks' when it appears in the results to bring up the window shown on the previous page. You'll be able to see a list of the networks to which you are connected and any you may have previously joined.
Right-clicking a wireless network will bring up a menu from which you can delete the connection or enter a Properties dialog to change several parameters, including whether or not Windows should automatically connect to this network. You can also re-enter the security key if necessary. This could be useful if you find yourself trying to connect to a network with the same name as one you have previously set up but with a different password.
Microsoft has overhauled wireless networking in Windows 8, so our above instructions will be of little use in this OS. In beta versions of Windows 8 you could still find your way to the ‘Manage Wireless Networks' dialog, even though it had been removed from the main user interface. The final version of Windows 8 removes this option.
Instead, Windows 8 attempts to more intelligently manage all your networks, integrating Wi-Fi and 3G operation. To access these settings, tap Windows, I to bring up the settings charm. Click the network icon near the bottom to display a list of all your networks.
Right-click a wireless network to bring up a menu of management options. You can select ‘Forget this network' to remove it from the list, or ‘View connection properties' to bring up a management dialog similar to that found in Windows 7. If you're using a data connection with a usage cap, you can select ‘Set as metered connection'. The ‘Show estimated data usage' option will allow you to keep tabs on your data usage.