How to Access Your WiFi Router Settings

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

Regardless of your knowledge level, being able to log into your router, change vital security settings, update firmware to prevent hacking, or many other options is important to keep your internet working as intended. Whether you bought your own router or have one sent by your ISP, the process of connecting and changing settings should be the same.

We’ll show you how to do this and give you an overview of the settings you need to be aware of.

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

Do you know how to access a website by entering its IP address in your browser? Well, that’s how you get to your router’s admin pages, but first you need to find the IP address. By default, most routers have the IP address 192.168.1.1 unless you change it or use another range.

Finding the IP address is simple in Windows. Click on the Windows search bar, Enter CMD, and press Enter. Then type ipconfig in the window that has just opened, and press Enter again. This will give you a list of all the IP addresses associated with your computer, and one will have the router address. Scroll until you see Default Gateway under either Ethernet adapter Where Wireless LAN adapter and write the number next to it. You can close this window now.

Image: KnowTechie

Windows 10 has another way, by going to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > View hardware and connection properties. Scroll down until you see your active network connection and note the IP address next to IPv4 default gateway Where Default Gateway.

Now is the time to log in

router login page
Image: KnowTechie

Navigate to the IP address you found in the step below by typing it into your browser’s address bar. The page will ask for your login information, which will be 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 configured everything.

If you are setting things up for the first time, most consumer routers have the default username and password printed somewhere on the router.

Look for a sticker with details on it, often below or on the back edge. Some routers will also allow you to recover your connection after a few wrong attempts, usually it will ask you for the serial number of the router to do so.

LEARN MORE: Have one of these Wi-Fi routers? If you do, update now

Most routers have default credentials similar to username: administrator and password: the password, which is why you should always give your router a single sign-on when you get it.

Literally anyone can guess the default combination, especially with resources like Router Passwords, which has a huge list of default router login details from major manufacturers.

Finally, if you are unable to connect with any of these means, it is time to reset the router to default. Look for the small reset button and use a paper clip or the tip of a pen to push it in for ten seconds. This should clear the settings so you can log in using the default login credentials.

Change some settings

router admin page
Screenshot: Joe Rice-Jones/KnowTechie

Once you’re logged in, it’s time to change some settings to your liking. You will want to change the default Wi-Fi name and password to connect to it. You’ll also want to change the login credentials to something unique and possibly enable some security options if your router has built-in security apps.

READ MORE: This gadget automatically restarts your WiFi router whenever your connection is poor

You can also set up parental controls if you want and manage all connected devices to make sure everything connected to your network belongs to you.

Most newer routers have handy wizards to make your job easier. If not, it’s time to find the router’s manual and read through its contents.

Change default connection

The first thing to do when logging into your router for the first time is to change the default login credentials. Thus, only you can access the router’s administration panel, which makes your network more secure.

If you’re lucky you can change the username as well as the password, but some routers only let you change the password, so make sure that’s not the one you’re using somewhere else.

Find it Administration in your router’s admin pages and look for the Change Password option. You’ll need to give them the current password first, to confirm that you’re the one making the change.

Change Wi-Fi settings

speedefy wifi routers on table
Image: Alex Gatewood/KnowTechie

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

A few other things

Now you know how to find your router on the network, connect to it, and change the most important firmware security options. We’ll be showing you more tips and tricks for your networking gear in the coming months, so you can be sure you’re your home admin.

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