Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for all the latest smart home tips, tricks and updates!

Changing WiFi Info On All Devices (Echo, Home etc) At Once?

When thinking about the disadvantages of smart homes, I remembered a time when my internet router broke. I changed this, and so I had to manually re-configure 5 smart home devices… along with a couple of TVs, my printer, two tablets, two Kindles, three mobile phones and two laptops. Ugh – changing 17 devices manually is a complete pain!

What’s more, I then changed my ISP a few months later, which came with a new router: meaning that I had to change all my passwords all over again. Double ugh! This got me wondering whether there was a way of avoiding this pain, and changing the WiFi info on all your smart home devices automatically?

An internet router often allows you to change the SSID – the WiFi name. By changing this (and the password) to your old router’s details, your devices ‘should’ re-connect without complaining.

The problem

Everything seems to connect on WiFi nowadays, and without realizing it you might have dozens of devices connected wirelessly:

Screenshot of the BT Home Hub 2 (internet router) wireless page showing the various connected devices.
Internet router wireless page showing nine connected devices… okay this isn’t “dozens”, but in a busy household with all devices turned on, it will be a lot.

This is fine until you change your router. This is usually done for two reasons: either someone has the previous password who you no longer trust (such as an old roommate), or you have changed ISP and have a new router.

Whatever the reason, going around and changing all the details manually – on every single device – is a completely pain. It’s a lot easier to make a single update (to your router), and then just a simple restart of each device is required.

Solution 1: change SSID and password/PSK

When you scan for WiFi networks, you’ll probably see a bunch of results (especially if you’re in a shared space) – the names of these WiFi networks are called the SSID – the service set identifier.

Then you naturally have the WiFi password as well. If you change both the SSID and the password to match your old router, then you should be able to just restart each smart device and it will automatically connect to the new router.

After all, when you connect to a new WiFi network on a device, all you do is choose the name (SSID) and enter a password – so if these match the old router, it should work seamlessly.

A screenshot of the BT Smart Hub 2 (internet router) wireless configuration page, showing which details to change.
Changing the WiFi SSID (name) and PSK (password) to match the old router’s details

It’s worth noting that some router’s will refer to the ‘password’ as a ‘PSK’, or they might say ‘PSK Password’. For our purposes, they are essentially the same – just make sure that any password and/or PSK fields have the same value in your new router.

In terms of how to do this, every router is different. But your router’s sticker should have an ‘admin password’ (and possibly the ‘admin URL’) printed on it. If not, Google “[router model] default admin details” because some routers come with the same URL and username/password.

Once you have the URL, and the admin username/password, simply go to the URL in a web browser and login using the username and password. There should be a ‘WiFi Configuration’ or ‘Wireless Configuration’ page which allows you to change this.

As I say, every router is different – an example of how to do this on a TP-Link router can be seen below:

Finally it’s worth pointing out that you must get all the details exactly right for this to work. Double check that there are no extra (or missing) spaces between the SSID name, and also make sure that the password/PSK is completely correct too.

Also a final note of caution – some newer routers have upgraded internet security. Maybe they disable WPS (the button you press to add new components), or maybe they have dropped support for some older WPA2 versions in favor of WPA3. Whatever the reason, some older Wi-Fi devices might struggle to connect to a really new router, with upgraded/enhanced security.

An example of this is the eero range of routers. Their own security FAQ page says that they disable a range of older wireless technologies:

eero only supports WPA2 PSK AES network security… eero doesn’t support WEP, WPA, or WPS, as these protocols are known to be insecure

eero router, security FAQ, accessed 7th December 2021

Solution 2: leverage Ethernet

A Netgear network switch installed on a piece of wood in a loft, with three ethernet cables going in and one power cable (for the switch) in the back.
A Netgear network switch installed in my loft.

If you can buy a smart device with Ethernet support, I’d definitely suggest doing this. Not only is Ethernet (or Power over Ethernet) much more reliable, but it’s also a physical connection into your router – meaning that passwords are not required.

Unfortunately only a handful of smart devices support Ethernet, but the Ring Doorbell Elite and most professional-grade smart cameras do support it.

Solution 3: Use a whole-home Wi-Fi mesh system

The other solution is a bit of a cop-out: buy a brand new Wi-Fi mesh system, and use this for all your devices. The reason I say it’s a cop-out is because you may end up needing to change all your devices to this new mesh system (unless the SSID/password trick from solution 1 works, of course).

In-case you haven’t heard of mesh systems before, one plugs into your main router – and then you have a range of other points that connect to this ‘base’ unit:

A mesh WiFi point in my garage
A mesh WiFi point in my garage
A screenshot from my BT Whole Home WiFi app
A screenshot from my BT Whole Home WiFi app

This gives your home a much better Wi-Fi connection, but it’s also useful because you’re likely to use your mesh system for a lot longer than a typical ISP’s router, which might change every time you change your internet package.

So by connecting your dozens of smart devices to a mesh Wi-Fi system, you bypass your dependence on your ISP’s router – a device that might change every year or two.

A word on saving WiFi passwords to Amazon and Google

Both Google and Amazon allow you to save your WiFi passwords with them, which they usually ask you about during the setup process of a new smart device.

This sounds like it could be perfect for our case, right?

Well, unfortunately not. To quote Amazon’s support page:

4. What should I do if I change my Wi-Fi passwords?
You can save your updated Wi-Fi passwords to Amazon by re-running any compatible device through its Wi-Fi setup process. Once reconnected to your Wi-Fi network, your updated Wi-Fi password will be automatically saved to Amazon.”

In other words, if you have 10 Amazon Echo devices setup and you change your WiFi password, you still need to run through their setup process again.

Whilst this is annoying, it makes sense from a technical perspective: if your WiFi password (or router) changes, each Echo device is cut-off. It isn’t connected to your network anymore, and it therefore has no internet access either. This means that your Echo won’t know that Amazon has a new WiFi password for it.

14 thoughts on “Changing WiFi Info On All Devices (Echo, Home etc) At Once?”

  1. This is amazing. Thank you so much.

    The excitement of upgrading my mesh kit was rapidly diminishing, when I thought about the background work involved reattaching all the devices, and most likely the revisiting of each associated schedule and trigger, as I was convinced they were also be impacted. Your advice tales so much of this away. Thank you. At least I can now look forward to this impending upgrade once more.

    Reply
  2. Hi Trintan,

    Thank you! This is what I did, when I tried a new ISP and had to go through the tedious and seemingly never-ending process of updating the SSID and password on each and every one! When that “trial” proved that my pervious ISP was actually better and that I’d be returning to it, I had serious angst. Then, I got the bright idea to do exactly what you suggest here. I just named my old SSID and it’s password the same as the one I’d just been trying out.

    For most devices, it was as you say, a seamless switch, but a few, Wyze cameras, Sonos music system speakers and a few others, a full reconnect was required. I did find that now, my iPhone won’t hold to the newly renamed (former) ISP and I keep having to reconnect.

    Thanks again…

    Reply
    • Hey Michael,

      You’re welcome, I’m glad you found this useful! Yes it usually works with 80-90% of a household’s WiFi devices, although it is odd how a few still struggle afterwards.

      Reply
  3. OMG, you saved me hours with solution 1.
    I got a new router and was dreading having to update my 30-40 devices and amart home components.
    I am having a drink with my free time in your honor!

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much
    I have so many devices connected to my Wi-Fi this as been a lifesaver for me .
    As last time I did a router factory restore it took hrs to add all the devices again
    But now with your help only minutes .

    Reply
  5. Tristan, I thought my network was compromised, so I changed both the network name and password. Since then, I have been unable to connect my Nest thermostat and Lumimam smart lights. I was able to connect the doorbell and the Google hub but nothing else. I am at the point where I’m considering throwing everything away and returning to my caveman days before smart things.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear it! That’s very odd though – it should still work fine… unless there’s a device-level bug that gets confused because it’s still the same router? It should still be fine, but perhaps it’s worth factory resetting the relevant smart products?

      Reply
  6. I have a MESH system attached to my router which operates on a separate SSID. However my Alexa and all my smart plugs (which operate on 2.4) are still connected to my router rather defeating somewhat the purpose of the MESH. If I rename the MESH to match the router and give the router another name (and password) would this work? Or would the devices reliant on 2.4 not connect?

    Reply
    • Ooh good question. Yes, adding a mesh WiFi unit to the router is annoying at first (due to the need to change all devices to the new SSID). In theory what you mention would work fine – but just be sure to rename your router FIRST, then the mesh to the router. Otherwise you would have two SSIDs, and a potential clash. 2.4 GHhz only devices should continue to work just fine – even if the mesh system is Wifi6, it will still support 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz too.

      Reply
  7. I’ve done that the last couple of times I have changed routers. New one specifies security of password and apparently mine is too weak so have to change the lot one by one.

    Reply
    • Ugh, that’s frustrating! I’m soon going to be changing to an eero Pro 6 router, and this also has upgraded security so it probably won’t work too well. I’ll update this article to reflect that problem shortly.

      Reply

Leave a Comment