How to Change Your Router Settings

To get the most out of your router, you need to learn how to change your WiFi router settings, and we are here to teach you.

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Why Should I Learn How to Change My Router Settings?


If you’ve never paid much attention to your router, you might be wondering why you should bother learning how to change router settings in the first place. After all, if it’s been working fine so far, why risk breaking something?

The answer is simple: because you have a lot to gain and nothing to lose. Much like it’s virtually impossible for you to physically damage your computer by clicking on a wrong link or messing with its settings, so are modern routers designed to be fool-proof.

Probably the worst thing that can happen is you change your wireless router settings in a way that makes it easier for others to steal your personal information. A much more likely scenario is, however, that you learn how to change your wireless router settings to protect your personal information as much as possible.

Knowing how to change your router settings also enables you to take full advantage of some of the more advanced features of your router, many of which you might not even be aware of at the moment. Don’t worry: even if you consider yourself to be a computer neophyte, you’ll be able to learn how to change router settings in no time.

How to Gain Access to a Router


To play with your router’s settings, you need to learn how to access it as an administrator. If you’re on the same network as the router (i.e., you’re either connected to the router with an Ethernet cable or are connected to a wireless network created by the router), you can try the simple method first:

  1. Open your favorite web browser.
  2. One by one, enter the following IP addresses into the URL bar: 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1, 192.168.2.1, 10.0.1.1, 10.0.0.1, 10.10.1.1.

If you see a login window or a welcome page, you’re in luck and can processed to the next chapter of this article. If you’re unable to access your router using any of the IP addresses listed above, try the next method:

  1. Click the Windows logo located on the left side of the taskbar.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Choose Network & Internet.
  4. Click View your network properties.
  5. Scroll down and look for “Default gateway.”
  6. The number next to it is your router’s IP address.
  7. Type the address into the URL bar of your favorite web browser.
  8. If you see a login window or a welcome page, you’ve successfully accessed your router.

The next step is to log in as administrator. If you haven’t changed your router’s admin password, there’s a good chance that “admin” will work. If it doesn’t, look at the information sticker on the bottom or back of the router. Router manufacturers sometimes print the default username and password on it.

If you’re still unable to access your router, we recommend you long-press the reset button on its back and try again. Should even this fail to grant you access to your router’s admin interface, try searching for help online. There are many websites, such as this one, that list routers and corresponding admin login information.

How to Change Your Router’s Login Information


The first thing you should do after gaining access to your router is change the default password to something more secure. If you were to leave the default password as it is, someone else could just walk up to your router and mess with its settings. The person could, for example, disable your wireless security and capture your personal information without you knowing about it.

To change your router’s password:

  1. Enter your router’s IP address into your favorite web browser.
  2. Log in with the default username and password (both admin, usually).
  3. Go to settings.
  4. Select Change Router Password or a similar option.
  5. Enter the new password.
  6. Save the new settings.

Remember that a strong password is at least eight characters long and consists of a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.

How to Change Router IP Address


Before we explain how to change router IP address, we want to clarify the difference between public and local IP address.

As the name suggests, a public IP address is the address computers and servers outside your network see when you connect to them. It’s also the address you see when you visit a website like What Is My IP?, which is a leader in providing IP address lookup services.

Your public IP address is assigned to you by your internet service provider, and you typically have no control over it. Some ISPs provide static IP addresses to their customers, but the chances are that you have a dynamic IP address that changes from time to time on its own or after a request.

Your local IP address, on the other hand, is the address assigned to your order and all other devices behind it, and you can change it as you see fit. This is how to do it on D-Link routers, and routers from other manufacturers won’t be much different.

  1. Enter your router’s IP address into your favorite web browser.
  2. Log in with the default username and password.
  3. Click on Setup.
  4. Choose Network Settings.
  5. Type in the router’s new IP address under Router Settings.
  6. Click on Save Setting.

After you’ve changed your router’s IP address, you will no longer be able to access it using the old address. This is something to remember as it could throw you off the next time you decide to change your router’s settings.

How to Change Your SSID


SSID (Service Set Identifier) is really just a fancy term for network name. As you’re probably aware of, all Wi-Fi networks are uniquely identified by a sequence of characters. If you’ve never changed your wireless router settings before, the chances are that your Wi-Fi has a very generic name. To change it to something more memorable, there are a couple of steps you must go through:

  1. Enter your router’s IP address into your favorite web browser.
  2. Log in with the default username and password.
  3. Click on Setup.
  4. Choose Wireless Settings.
  5. Type in your new SSID.
  6. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.

When choosing a name for your Wi-Fi network, stay away from anything that might be interpreted as offensive. We also recommend you don’t try to make it seem as if your network is a public hotspot. Using a fake name for your Wi-Fi really doesn’t do anything for your privacy and security, but it can dramatically slow down your download and upload speeds.

How to Configure Multi-SSID and Guest Wi-Fi


Many modern wireless routers can broadcast multiple access points at the same time. Typically, one accessed point is used to connect known devices to the network, and a completely separate access point is created for guests. The main benefit is that you don’t need to share your main Wi-Fi password with strangers and hope they won’t publish it anywhere.

To create a guest Wi-Fi with a Netgear router, follow the instructions below. The process should be very similar for routers from other manufacturers.

  1. Enter your router’s IP address into your favorite web browser.
  2. Enter the router user name and password.
  3. Select Guest Network.
  4. Ensure that the Enable SSID Broadcast check box selected.
  5. Give the guest network name.
  6. Select a security option.
  7. Click the Apply button to save your settings.

How to Change the Wireless Channel and Band


Wireless routers support different 802.11 standards, which provide several distinct radio frequency ranges, also called bands, for use in Wi-Fi communications, with each band being split into multiple channels.

If you have a newer router, the chances are that it supports the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Because the 5 GHz band is less common than the 2.4 GHz band, it tends to be less crowded, making it a great choice for densely populated urban areas where Wi-Fi networks are present in massive concentrations.

When it comes to choosing the most suitable Wi-Fi channel, a network analyzer such as NetSpot can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

  1. Download and install NetSpot.
  2. Launch the application and activate Discover mode.
  3. Wait a short while for NetSpot to collect information about surrounding Wi-Fi networks and present wireless data as an interactive table.

Discover Mode
  1. Click the "Channels 2.4 GHz" header to see where Wi-Fi channels are overlapping.

Channels NetSpot
  1. Look for the channel with the least number of networks present on it.

If you’re selecting a channel in the 2.4 GHz band, try to choose the channel 1, 6, or 11. These are so-called non-overlapping channels, which means they don’t overlap with one another.

How to Set Up Parental Controls


Parental controls are features that help you reduce the risk of your child being exposed to inappropriate content online. These controls can be divided into two broad categories: filtering and monitoring. With filtering, you can limit access to age inappropriate content and place time-limits on usage. Monitoring allows you to see exactly what your child is doing online, so you can intervene in time if you sense that it might be in danger.

Parental controls are typically located under router settings, but they may also have their own category. Because children will go above and beyond to circumvent any content restrictions you put in place to protect them, it’s highly recommended to set a PIN for parental controls.

How to Activate Remote Management


If you have a capable router, you don’t even need to be at home to monitor its activity. Thanks to remote management functionality, you can monitor it from anywhere using your smartphone or computer.

To access your router from an outside network:

  1. Enter your router’s admin panel.
  2. Go to settings and look for Remote Management.
  3. Turn on Remote Management and save your settings.

The reason why remote management is turned off by default is that it represents a certain security risk. Hackers might try to break your router password and use remote management to compromise your security. That’s why we recommend you turn remote management off when you know you won’t be using it for a while.

How to See Who Is Connected to My Router


Have you noticed that your internet speeds fluctuate up and down regardless of your activity? There’s a chance that someone else besides you is connected to your router and stealing your bandwidth. To find out if that’s really the case, you need to go to your router’s administrative panel:

  1. Find out your router’s IP address.
  2. Type in that IP address in a browser window.
  3. Log in as admin.
  4. Look for an option called “My Network” or “Attached Devices” or something similar.
  5. If you see a device that shouldn’t be connected to your router, kick it off your network and ban its MAC address.

Conclusion


Routers are intricate machines with a plethora of different settings that you can play with and customize to your liking. In this article, we’ve explained how to access router and change router settings, including wireless router settings. Of course, it’s impossible for us to talk about all router settings, but the crucial ones are covered in this article.


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