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Why You Might Want to Log Into Your WiFi Router and How To Do It

At the heart of any wireless network is the WiFi router that keeps all the necessary settings. So, if you want to change something, you need to know how to log into your router.
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If you have a WiFi network at your home or office you can take advantage of the convenience and flexibility that a wireless connection to the Internet provides for its users. They are great for enabling the full use of mobile devices and remove the constraints of searching for wired network connections. Home WiFi networks are an integral component of a smart home implementation, allowing communication between the devices and monitoring or controlling software.

Why Would You Want to Log Into Your WiFi Router?

WiFi router is responsible for providing wireless access to the network. It accomplishes this by converting data from a modem connected to the Internet into radio signals. These signals are picked up and used for communication by any wireless capable devices within the network’s coverage area. Without a router, you have no WiFi network.

Individuals who are simply users of the WiFi network should never have to log into the router. In fact, the network administrator would be advised to make sure that the router is not accessible to the average user. The only information most users need related to the WiFi network is the password that is needed to gain access.

On the other hand, if you are responsible for setting up and maintaining the WiFi network you have a number of reasons to want to log into your router. In the case of the millions of home WiFi networks currently in use, this often means that the responsible individual is not a professional network administrator. If you are in that situation, you might not realize the importance of logging into your router. Here are some of the reasons that you might want to access this essential device.

Updating Security Settings

There are several security settings related to your WiFi network which are administered through the router. Failure to address the security of your network leaves your network and users vulnerable to the havoc that can be caused by unauthorized access or malware infection. Three different settings combine to provide a secure wireless network and they all can be changed from the router.

  • Router login – This is the password that is required to access the router. All routers have a default password which you should change as soon as possible to avoid unauthorized access.
  • WiFi password – Users are required to enter this password in order to access the network. It may have been set up when the network was installed, but over time there are a variety of reasons that you might want to change it to maintain security and control over your resources.
  • Security mode – This is where you decide what level of security you will use to protect your network. You should always choose to employ WPA2 level at a minimum to maintain a secure network.

Modifying Network Setting

There are a number of network settings that you may want to change.

Network name – This is the name users will see when searching for a network with which to connect. You can modify it to make it more obvious if there are competing WiFi networks in the area. You can also choose to hide the SSID which means the name must be known by users in order to achieve access.

Channel – You can select the channel that your WiFi network uses to transmit data to the connected devices. Some routers can be set to automatically find the most appropriate channel. The result of a network review may indicate that you need to change channels to improve performance.

Other Settings

Depending on your router’s make and model, there may be a variety of other settings and options that can be accessed through the router. Some routers will enable you to attach external storage for use on the network or enforce parental controls to limit the access of certain devices during set time periods. Check out the documentation for your particular device to see what capabilities it affords you.

How to Log Into Your WiFi Router

Now that we have interested you in logging into your WiFi router, let’s talk about how you can actually perform this task. There are similarities in the process no matter what type of device you are using, as well as some differences that we will illustrate by looking at three different routers. We will talk about generic D-Link, Netgear, and Linksys routers rather than individual models as the login process is the same for each manufacturer’s products.

There are two pieces of information that you will need regardless of the router you are accessing.

Router login – This is the password you need to access the router. If you have not changed the default password and do not know it, you can find it at sites such as http://www.routerpasswords.com/ Here you will find listings of ids and passwords for all makes and models of routers.

Router IP address – You will paste this IP address in your web browser in order to access your router. Here’s how to find it:

  • macOS – System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP will show you the router’s IP address.
  • Windows – Start a command prompt and enter ipconfig. The Default Gateway indicates the IP address of your router.

Once you have those two items of information you are dependent on the interface that your manufacturer has provided for the router. Here is how to get to your router and what to expect when you get there.

Linksys routers

  1. Launch your web browser and point it at the router’s IP address which by default is 192.168.1.1.
192.168.1.1
  1. Enter the router password in the Access Router field and click the sign-in button. The default password is admin.
Access Router 192.168.1.1
  1. Select WiFi settings to update passwords or transmission channels.
Linksys route WiFi settings

Netgear routers

  1. Launch your web browser at the router’s IP address or http://www.routerlogin.com.
  2. Enter your name and password. The user name is admin and the default password is password.
Netgear router login
  1. Click Log in to access the router’s home screen.
Netgear router admin panel

D-Link routers

  1. Launch your web browser at the router’s IP address or http://dlinkrouter.local.
  2. Enter your name and password. The user name is admin and the default password is also admin.
D-Link router login
  1. Click Log in to access the router’s user interface and update its settings.
D-Link router admin panel

The procedures are very similar, as are those for the majority of routers that you are going to encounter. The key is having the address and password. But what if the password has been updated and you do not know it? Here’s what to do.

What Can I Do if I Can’t Log Into My Wireless Router?

There may come a time when you need to access a router to make important changes and do not have the password available. Maybe the old network admin left suddenly and forgot to pass it on. The reason doesn’t matter to you now. The question is how can you get into the router now?

The answer is to reset the router. Every router will have a reset button on it somewhere that is meant to be used in just this type of situation. Holding the reset button for about 10 seconds will reset most routers back to the original factory settings. This means that you can now access it using the manufacturer’s default password.

Be advised that all of your settings will revert to their defaults. This may entail a bit of work on your part to reconfigure the router. Make sure you verify the security associated with your network if you ever have to resort to this tactic to get into your router. Having to go through a reconfigure once should be enough of an impetus to make sure you secure the router’s admin password for future use.

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