Troubleshoot with Default Router Passwords

Aug 6, 2013 home network, internet, network, 0 Comments
Default Router Passwords


Routers work in the background, operating your wired and wireless networks, but sometimes you have to change their settings or fix a problem. At this point, you have to find the manual and remember how you set up the router, how you logged in and what the user name and password is. Because you may have set up your router years ago, you may no longer have this information readily available. Lists of default router passwords let you find what you need and access the router settings. The Port Forward website has information about how to log into your router and lists default passwords for most models.

Router Controls

Most routers have control panels in the form of web pages programmed into the router software. You access the router web pages by typing an internal IP address into your browser address bar. To access the router controls in this way, your router has to be accessible through your network and you have to know the internal IP address it uses.

Usually, you can log into your router via your wireless network, but, if the wireless function is down, you may have to establish a wired connection by running in a network cable from your computer to one of the router network ports.

Internal IP addresses are made up of four groups of numbers, separated by periods. The first two groups of numbers are always 192.168 and, for routers, the next two are usually a combination of 0 and 1.

For example, try logging into your router by typing 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 into your address bar. You may have to check the manufacturer’s website if the address is different. Once you have the right address, you will see a window asking for a user name and password in your browser.

Log in Information

You need the right user name and password to log into the router control panel. If you changed these settings when you first set up the router, you have to remember them or find where you noted down the information. There is no way to retrieve router user names and passwords that you set. Often people leave the default user name and just change the password. The most common default user name for routers is admin, so you can try that with passwords that you commonly use.

If you can’t find the correct user name and password combination, you can reset the router to its factory settings. When reset, the router will have the default user name and password, and it will also lose any special settings, such as SSID network names and security settings. On most routers, the reset buttons are recessed and require a pin or pencil tip to press. Look for a small hole or hidden button marked “Reset.”

Default Router Passwords

Once you have reset your router, you can look up the default user name and password. Many routers use a combination of “admin” and a blank as default log ins. After logging into the router control panel, you can change settings and troubleshoot any problems with the router. You will have to set up wireless network encryption with WPA or WPA-2 again, set your SSID, and decide whether the router should broadcast the SSID. Changing your SSID from the default to a name that lets you identify your wireless network discourages attempts to hack your network, as does not broadcasting the SSID. If you don’t broadcast your SSID, it makes it harder for your guests to find and connect to your network.

Changing Login Settings

It’s tempting to leave the default user name and password in place after resetting your router because you know you can always find the default settings online. If you don’t change the default router password, anyone within range of your wireless network can look up the information, log into your router and disable your security and encryption. They then have full access to your network and Internet connection.

A common strategy for people who don’t have major security concerns is to leave the router user name as the default but to change the router password to one that is strong but that they know you will remember. Digital Landing has some hints about network security. You can leave a reminder of the password with the router because your security concern is with remote hacking.

You can change both the user name and password to get a high security combination and mark the settings down, knowing that you can always reset the router to the defaults, if you can’t find the paper when you need to log in. No matter which router password procedure you choose, the key is to activate encryption and to change at least the default router passwords to keep your network secure.


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Bert Markgraf has written technical papers and articles for Siemens while working there as a professional engineer. He started his own IT business and wrote and edited a large number of articles for online publisher Suite101 as Senior Managing Editor, Business and Economics. He currently creates Internet content while operating North46 Technologies Inc., an IT company.

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