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Can someone please explain in very straight forward terms the difference in the SSID password vs a pre shared key?

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The SSID password is a pre-shared key.

"pre" because it needs to be known before starting a connection, "shared" because all parties use the same and "key" because it's used for encryption.

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    Yup, just different terms for the same thing. 'Pre-shared Key' sounds intimidating to the average consumer/user but 'password' is a commonly used term so it became more popular in common usage for support documents and user oriented information/interface. May 28, 2023 at 23:57
  • Thanks! I'm not a noobie at networking but this term in wlans always boggles me.
    – mrwahl
    May 29, 2023 at 19:41

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