Renewing a WiFi Key

Applies to: Everyone
Last updated: July 19, 2021
WiFi Logo

It's a new year, or about to be, and you want to keep using WiFi on all of your devices. That means you need to renew your personal key or password, depending on what your device calls it. (We call it a key.) Unfortunately, there's no direct way to truly renew a key. You can't keep the same one and just extend it for a year. Instead, you'll need to "renew" by getting a new key. But, there's a special process required to ensure the smoothest, fastest renewal possible.

Every student and employee YoteNet WiFi key is good from July 1 of a year through July 31 of the next year. We do this to keep keys clean, tidy, and secure as students graduate and employees move on. That means you need a different key each academic year to join the YoteNet network.

The Process

  1. Forget the YoteNet network on your existing device(s). This means phones, computers, tablets, game consoles, smart TVs, streaming devices, wearables, and anything else you connected to the WiFi last year. For good measure you should also forget the cofi-guest network if it's listed. (You shouldn't use the guest network if you're not a guest.) If you are off campus and the YoteNet network isn't listed you may be able to find it in the advanced setting area. Otherwise, wait until you are on campus to follow these directions.
  2. Get a new key online using your YoteNet ID and password.
  3. Reconnect to the YoteNet network on your device(s) and enter the new key. Remember that you can only see and join the YoteNet network if you're on campus.

Additional Information for Apple iOS and iPadOS Users

Starting with iOS/iPadOS 14, Apple introduced a privacy feature called Private Address. Private Address is intended to prevent companies from tracking you across WiFi networks. Unfortunately, the current implementation does not play well with the YoteNet WiFi network and has caused considerable connectivity issues for users. To prevent this you need to turn off Private Address for the YoteNet network. Here's how.

  1. Be on campus or else you won't be able to see YoteNet.
  2. Go to Settings, then Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the small i icon to the right of the YoteNet label.
  4. Tap the toggle switch to turn off Private Address.

After turning off Private Address your device will display a privacy warning. On our network, with or without Private Address, we are already able to associate your device to your name. That information is not used for marketing, targeting, or resale like commercial data can be. Turning off Private Address for the YoteNet network does not actually affect your privacy at the College. You may safely ignore this warning when connected to YoteNet. We still recommend Private Address whenever you are connected to a public hotspot network like airports, hotels, retail or dining establishments, and any other open location. Be aware that if you leave Private Network enabled and have trouble connecting our first troubleshooting step will be to disable Private Address on your device.

For additional information visit the Apple website.


If you followed the above process (or said "psh, I know better than this article!") and are now stuck in an endless loop, unable to connect: that's okay. It happens. A lot. More than likely you've met a feature designed to prevent brute-force attacks against the network and your device is now locked out. Some devices are more forgiving and you'll rarely have this problem. Other devices, like things running Apple iOS and iPadOS, are very aggressive and have been known to lock out 15 seconds after entering an incorrect password. Here's what you need to do if you're stuck.

  1. Forget the YoteNet (and cofi-guest) network on the affected device.
  2. Turn off WiFi or power off the device.
  3. Wait 90 minutes.
  4. Try to join the network again using your new key.

Still stuck? Try this process again, and make sure you turn off WiFi on your device. We've only had a handful of cases where the problem wasn't a lockout, and, properly followed, this process fixes things 99.9% of the time. If it's still not working come see us in Covell.

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