How to access the settings of your wireless router

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Your home router is an essential part of bringing internet to your devices, but do you actually know how to sign in and change the settings? Maybe you haven’t touched it since the contractor installed your internet, or maybe you tried but forgot how to find it on your network.

Regardless of your level of knowledge, it is important to log into your router, change important security settings, update the firmware to prevent hacking, or a number of other options to keep your Internet working as intended. Whether you bought your own router or sent one from your ISP, the process of signing in and changing the settings should be the same.

We’ll show you how to do it and give you an overview of which settings you need to consider.

It’s time to find your router’s IP address

Do you know how to visit a website by entering its IP address into your browser? Well, this will take you to your router’s admin pages, but you need to find the IP address first. By default, most routers have the IP address 192.168.1.1 unless you’ve changed it or it’s using a different range.

Finding the IP address is easy on Windows. Click on that Windows search bar, enter CMD, and press Enter. Then enter ipconfig in the window that is just open and press Enter again. This will give you a list of all the IP addresses connected to your computer, and one will contain the address of the router. Scroll down until you see Standard gateway under either Ethernet adapter or WLAN adapter and write the number next to it. You can now close this window.

Image: KnowTechie

Windows 10 has another way by going to. walk Settings> Network & Internet> Status> View hardware and connection properties. Scroll down until you see your active network connection and write down the IP next to that IPv4 standard gateway or Standard gateway.

Now is the time to log in

Router login page
Image: KnowTechie

Go to the IP address you found in the following step by typing it into your browser’s address bar. On the page you will be asked for your login details. This is the default username and password if you are setting up the router for the first time, or the unique username and password you created if you have already set everything up.

When you first set things up, most consumer routers have the default username and password printed somewhere on the router. Look for a sticker with details, often underneath or on the back edge. With some routers, you can restore your login after a few wrong attempts, usually you will be asked for the router’s serial number.

Most routers have standard logins similar to the username: Administrator and password: passwordwhich is why you should always give your router a unique login when you receive it. Literally anyone can guess the standard combination, especially when it comes to resources like router passwords which have a huge list of router standard credentials from major manufacturers.

If you can’t sign in using either of these methods, it’s time to reset the router to its default settings. Find the little reset button and use a paper clip or the end of a pen to press it down for ten seconds. This should clear the settings so that you can log in with the default login credentials.

Change some settings up

Router admin page
Screenshot: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

Once you are logged in, it is time to change some settings to your liking. You should change the default WiFi name and password to connect to it. You should also change the login credentials to something unique and possibly enable some security options if your router has built-in security apps. You can also set up parental controls if necessary and manage all of the connected devices to make sure everything connected to your network is yours.

The latest routers have handy wizards that do most of the hard work for you. If not, it’s time to find the router’s manual and go through its contents.

Change the login from the default

The first thing to do the first time you log into your router is to change the login information from the default. This allows only you to access the router’s admin panel, which makes your network more secure. If you’re lucky, you can change both the username and password, but some routers only allow you to change the password, so make sure you don’t use it anywhere else.

Find the administration Tab on your router’s admin pages and find the Change Password option. You will need to give it the current password first to confirm that you will make the change.

Change the WiFi settings

Speedefy WiFi router on the table
Image: Alex Gatewood / KnowTechie

Find the WiFi Settings tab and change a few things. Choose a unique name to call your WiFi network and change it from the default. Then it’s time to create a unique passcode to join and use WPA2-PSK [AES] Security or WPA3 if you have a newer router that supports it.

A few more things

Now you know how to find your router in the network, log in and change the most important security options in the firmware. We’ll be showing you more tips and tricks for your network equipment over the coming months so you can be confident of being your home administrator.

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