How to Access and Change Your Wi-Fi Router Settings
Your router stores your home Wi-Fi network settings. If you want to change anything on your network, you need to log into your router’s software, also known as firmware. From here, you can rename your network, change the password, adjust the security level, and configure or change various other options.
But before you can do any of that, you first need to access your router. The process for connecting to your router should be the same whether you are using your ISP’s router or bought your own router(Opens in a new tab). It should also be the same if you are using a dedicated router or a modem/router combination. provided by your supplier(Opens in a new tab).
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Find your router’s IP address
You connect to your router firmware through a browser. In the address field, enter your router’s IP address. Most routers use an address of 192.168.1.1, but that’s not always the case, so you might want to confirm your router’s address first.
To find your router IP adress(Opens in a new tab)type order in the Windows search bar, open the command prompt. Type ipconfig and run the command. Scroll down until you see a setting for Default Gateway under Ethernet Adapter or Wireless LAN Adapter. This is your router, and the number next to it is your router’s IP address.
You can also find your router’s IP address in Windows. In Windows 10(Opens in a new tab)go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > View hardware and connection properties. In Windows 11(Opens in a new tab)go to Settings > Network and Internet > Advanced network settings > Hardware and connection properties.
The next screen displays the details of your various network connections. Scan the entry for Ethernet or Wi-Fi and look for the Default Gateway setting to find your router’s IP address. Once you have the correct IP address, type it into your browser’s address field and press enter.
Enter your login credentials
After typing in the IP address, you are prompted for a username and password to access your router’s firmware. This is either your router’s default username and password or a unique username and password that you may have created when setting up the router . If you don’t remember your login credentials, logging in becomes a little trickier.
Some routers offer a password recovery feature. If this is the case with your router, this option should appear after you have entered the wrong username and password a number of times. Typically, this window will ask for your router’s serial number, which you’ll find under or on the side of the router.
If you’ve never changed router login credentials, many use a default username of admin and a default password of password. Try this combination to see if it works. Otherwise, your best bet is to search the web for your router brand’s default username and password, such as Netgear, Linksys, Asus, or TP-Link.
Another option is to consult the Router Passwords Website(Opens in a new tab), where you can select your router manufacturer for a list of default usernames and passwords. Try each of the suggestions to access your router.
If you still can’t connect to your router’s firmware, you’ll need to reset the device to return all settings to default. You will usually find a small reset button on your router. Use a pointed object, such as a pen or paper clip, to press and hold the reset button for approximately 10 seconds. You should now be able to log in to your router using the default username and password.
Change router settings
After accessing your router’s firmware, you will be free to change the items that you think should be changed. These include router name and password, security level and Wi-Fi password. You can also set up parental controls, create a Guest network(Opens in a new tab), and manage connected devices. Remember to apply the changes before proceeding to the next screen.
Documentation and built-in help should be available to help you with the various options if you don’t know how to set them. Most current or newer routers also have setup wizards that can do some of this work for you.
Edit Router Connection
You need to change your router username and password if they are still set to default values. Look for an option usually nested under the Administration tab. The screen will probably ask you for your current router password and then ask you to enter a new password. Some routers allow you to change the username and password, while others only allow changing the password.
When creating the new password, remember the usual recommendations for creating a secure password(Opens in a new tab)– not so hard that you can’t remember, but complex enough that it’s not easy to guess. A passphrase with an easy-to-remember word combination is also a good option.
Make sure you remember new password(Opens in a new tab) so you won’t have to reset the router in the future. Your router firmware may also ask you to set up security questions and answers, another handy way to prove your identity. You will then need to apply the settings and reconnect to your router.
Revise Wi-Fi Password
You should also review your Wi-Fi password(Opens in a new tab) to make sure it is strong and secure. To do this, look for a wireless or Wi-Fi section in the firmware of the router. You will see your current Wi-Fi name and password listed. Create a more secure password if you think the current password is too weak. Again, keep the usual password recommendations in mind. If you’re still using the default Wi-Fi name, change it to something more unique.
Under Security Options, or a similar section, make sure your network security is set to at least WPA2-PSK [AES], which will be the strongest level available for most home wireless networks. New routers will have the most secure WPA3(Opens in a new tab) option. Apply your new settings and close the browser window when you’re done.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab)Mashable’s sister site. PCMag.com(Opens in a new tab) is a leading authority on technology, providing independent, lab-based analysis of the latest products and services.