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Few pieces of technology feel more daunting than your router. Most of us just trust it to work and hope that we can find someone to fix it if it ever stops, but you don’t have to live that way.
You can learn how to secure your home network and fix common internet issues. You can be your own network guru. It’s actually a lot easier than you would imagine, and it all starts with finding out how to log into your router.
Your router is your gateway to the internet. When your router isn’t working properly, your home internet won’t be either. When your router isn’t properly secured, your network is at risk.
Logging into your router is a crucial step in fixing Wi-Fi connection problems, improving your internet speed, and dealing with other common internet and Wi-Fi issues. You’ll also need to log into your router to change the default router and network settings which, as we’ll discuss later, are often insecure.
Just like you need to know the URL of your favorite website to access it, you need to know the IP address of your router to log into it. These addresses won’t have the familiar look of a “www.google.com” or “www.cordcutting.com,” though. Instead, they’ll look like four groups of numbers separated by periods.
There are several ways to get your router’s IP address. Here are a few of the easiest ways seen below roughly in increasing order of difficulty.
Almost every router has a sticker on it that lists its default settings — including the IP address. While you are there, take a picture of the entire sticker or write down the username and password information as you’ll need those later.
Most router manuals will have a section with their default IP and login credentials. Along with the IP address, make note of the username and password for the next step.
You aren’t the first person to have this problem, and you won’t be the last. Try searching for your router make and model and “default IP address.” While you are there, see if the page you get the IP address from also has the default username and password as you’ll need those in the next step.
Most routers use one of these IP addresses, so you can try them one-by-one to see if they work for your router.
If you found your router’s username and password in the last step, you can skip to the next section. If that information wasn’t on your router or in the manual, you should try searching for your router make and model with “default username and password.” That should get you the information you need.
If the search didn’t work, you’ll want to try these common defaults. Remember that the password is always case sensitive and the username may be as well. Wherever you see “(Blank)” that means to leave the field empty.
If you or whoever installed your network changed the default username or password, none of these steps will work. In that case, proceed to the section below for what to do if you forgot your router login.
Now that you have all of the information, logging in is as easy as one, two, three.
Regardless of why you logged in, this is a good chance to make sure your router and network are secure.
No matter how long it took you to figure out your router’s IP address and login credentials, a hacker can do it faster. Even the neighbor’s nosy kid could figure out a default username and password.
The first thing you should do when you get a new router is to change the default login information. If you didn’t do it back then, you should definitely do it now. You’ll typically find the ability to change the login in the Administrator Credentials section under “Security” or “Advanced.”
Since we are discussing security, this is a good point to mention that your router’s default Wi-Fi security settings are probably not very good. You should take this time to introduce better network security settings to ensure that nobody can hack into your wireless network.
We’ve all forgotten a password or two in our lives. You may have noticed that your router login page doesn’t have an “I Forgot My Password” button. There is no way to recover a lost router password.
Even if you forgot your router login information, all hope is not lost. You may not be able to recover the password, but you can still reset your router to factory default settings. This will erase all of your custom configuration settings, so you’ll need to set up your network again from scratch.
This can be a daunting task, and you won’t have your Wi-Fi network while you do it. Make sure you have any relevant information on a phone or other device that can operate without a Wi-Fi signal before you proceed.
Most routers have a reset button on the device itself. This will be a tiny, inset button that you’ll have to press with a pin or paperclip. Hold the button in for at least 10 seconds to reset the router. Once this is done, you’ll be able to log into your router with the default username and password as described in the previous sections. You’ll also need to redo the initial process of setting up your network name, password, and any other custom settings you had in place.
Now that you know how to access your router, you are one huge step closer to being ready to solve all of your home networking needs. The next time your internet is faltering or your Wi-Fi connection keeps dropping, you will be in a better position to try to solve it yourself.
Do you want to take your new network expertise to a whole new height? This is a good time to consider installing a VPN on your router to make your entire network even more secure.
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