This would be useful for all passwords, but it would be especially useful for WiFi passwords because they are shared more often than any other kind of password, and sharing them has unique challenges.
No internet without WiFi
WiFi passwords cannot be shared over the internet because you don’t get an internet connection until after you join the network. At least not unless:
- You have access to another WiFi network or mobile data connection¹, or…
- You share them in advance (see WiFi Logins and Organizations).
People who don’t have those things are force to type the password manually.
¹ I always join new networks on my phone first for this reason. I then create a hotspot to sync the password to my other devices if they need it.
How Bitwarden could help
A visitor to at your house asks to join your WiFi network. On your phone you would…
- Bring up the Bitwarden app and find the login in question.
- Press a button to “display QR code” or “prepare NFC transfer”. [Transfer takes place…]
- Enter the vistor’s name in the item notes as a reminder that they know this password.
Meanwhile, on their phone…
- They open the Bitwarden app and press a button to start scanning or listening for NFC requests.
- They scan the QR code, or hold their phone next to mine to facilitate NFC transfer.
- The password is copied to the clipboard (to allow them to join the network now) and stored in their vault (so they don’t have to ask again when they want to connect their laptop).
If I later decide that I don’t want this person on my WiFi network then I simply change my WiFi password. Other guests can be given the new password using the same method as before.
Handling future connections
In addition to sharing the current password to enable immediate connection, the QR code or NFC transfer could act as a handshake to add the visitor you your WiFi organization. This would give them access not only to the current password, but to all future passwords (at least until this person is removed from the WiFi organisation). An automatic transfer avoids the need to type their email address, which is little better than having type a password, and can be used offline.
Connecting to public WiFi
Cafes and bars could print Bitwarden QR codes and stick them on their walls to enable customers to join secure WiFi networks without having to type a password.