Change Your Router’s Default Password

Changing the default password on your wireless router

Changing the default password on your wireless router

Changing your router’s default password is a simple, but effective security measure. Everyone should do it. But when you work from home more than your own computer and files are at risk. You’re also a part of your work’s network. Making it all the more important to boost your home network security.


The coronavirus outbreak has pushed a lot of people to work from home, many for the first time. Even more people are practicing social distancing. Don’t panic. At the end of the day you’re doing the same job. And you can still reach out to friends and family. But you’ll need to do so with a different toolset. This site is here to help you make the changes needed to make the most of the situation.


Why Should I Worry About My Router’s Default Password?

If you have Wi-Fi at home that is the point of entry we’re most concerned with. Unlike a wired connection the Wi-Fi signal broadcasts in all directions. It doesn’t have a long range. But click on the Wi-Fi icon in your menu or taskbar. Do you see more Wi-Fi connections than your own? Those are your neighbors. If you’re in range of them then they are in range of you. Not to mention someone parked nearby.

You likely have a password to connect to your home Wi-Fi that you setup. That’s good. But your Wi-Fi router also has an administrator level password. Many older routers use a default admin password, which anyone can find with a Google search. All they need to know if the brand of your router. Which is advertises in its signal. If someone gains admin level access to your router they have access to your home network.

How likely someone will try to access your home network depends on many factors. And chances are you won’t be a victim. But we could see an increase in home network violations due to the current mass work from home situation. So why not take a few minutes to ensure you are not the lowest hanging fruit?

Setting Up Your Work Computer At Home

Should I Also Change My Wi-Fi Password?

The Wi-Fi password is what you use to get a device connected to your wireless network. It was something you setup. And it is either memorable to you or written down somewhere.

If it is a weak (password, guest, 1234, etc) or easy to guess (family name, address, etc) password then I recommend changing it, too. It’ll be one more barrier between your home network and an outsider. But note once changed you’ll need to login to the Wi-Fi on every device in your home. Don’t do it in the middle of family movie night.


How To Change Your Router’s Admin Password – ASUS, Netgear, TP-Link, and more

Please note that different brand routers use different systems. So there’s no quick and easy guide for all routers. Below I go over general instructions for the more popular brands. If these steps don’t work for you consider doing a search for changing the password for your brand of router.

Accessing Your Router’s Settings

Find your router and check its brand. It is also good to look for its information sticker, usually on the bottom or back. On some models it will show its login details.

If you have an Apple AirPort skip ahead to that section. As those work differently from most other routers.

Get on a computer connected to your home network. Either Wi-Fi or wired is fine. You won’t be able to do this easily on your phone.

Open a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc). One by one, enter these IP addresses into the address bar until you find one that loads a page.

  • routerlogin.net (Netgear routers)
  • 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 none of these work you can look for your router’s address.

Windows

  1. Press Windows key + R together.
  2. Type “cmd” and hit return. This opens the Command Prompt.
  3. Type “ipconfig” and hit return.
  4. Look for the “default gateway” address. That is likely your router’s IP address. Enter it into the web browser.

Mac

  1. Go to System Preferences (under the Apple menu). Then Network.
  2. Select your active Internet connection on the left (shows as green).
  3. Click Advance.
  4. Go to the TCP/IP tab.
  5. Look for the “router” address. Enter it into the web browser.

Changing Your Router’s Admin Password

With the router’s web page up you’ll need to login to access its settings. Open a second web browser window. And do a search to find the default username and password for your brand of router. Often it is something like admin/admin or admin/password.

Enter the default username and password found.

  • If you get in you can see how easy it would be for someone else.
  • If you don’t check again for other default passwords. It may also mean you or someone already setup a custom password on the router.

Once logged into your router you’ll need to find where to change the admin password. Typically it is under something such as Settings or Security. You’re looking for the “router” or “admin” password. Not the “wireless” password. Do a search for “changing <brand> router password” if you can’t find it on your own.

Optionally you can also change the Wi-Fi password. Usually in a section called “wireless.” It’ll also list your Wi-Fi networks current name (SSID).

Can’t Remember my Router’s Password

Don’t Worry About It For Now – As it doesn’t use the default password the security issue is resolved. But one day you’ll need that password to update, change, or troubleshoot your router.

Factory Reset – This erases all its settings, including your lost password. You’ll need to set it up again using the AirPort Utility app. But at least you’ll know the password. Search for “factory reset <brand> router” for more details.


How To Change Your Apple AirPort’s Admin Password

Apple’s AirPort routers work differently from most other brands. If you have one you’ll need to access it using AirPort Utility on your Mac or iPhone. You can download it from the Apple app store. There is a version for Windows. But it has not been updated in several years, so your experience may vary.

Accessing Your Apple AirPort’s Settings via iPhone

  1. Open AirPort Utility.
  2. Select your Airport.
  3. Enter your Wi-Fi password if prompted.
  4. Once connected you’ll need to hit Enter Password to gain full access.
    • The default Device Password for an Apple AirPort is “public”. If that does not work then you likely setup your own password earlier.
  5. Once logged tap on Edit in the upper right corner.
  6. Tap on Base Station.
  7. Change the password to your AirPort. Note this does not change the Wi-Fi password.
  8. If you wish to also change the Wi-Fi password go back one screen, then tap Network. There you can change the name and password of your wireless network.

 

Accessing Your Apple AirPort’s Settings via Mac

  1. Open AirPort Utility.
  2. Select your Airport.
  3. Enter your AirPort password if prompted.
    • The default Device Password for an Apple AirPort is “public”. If that does not work then you likely setup your own password earlier.
  4. Click Edit in the popup window (click on AirPort again to get popup).
  5. Under Base Station you can change your AirPort’s admin password.
  6. Under Wireless you can change your Wi-Fi password if also desired.

Can’t Remember my Apple AirPort’s Password

Don’t Worry About It For Now – As it doesn’t use the default password the security issue is resolved. But one day you’ll need that password to update, change, or troubleshoot your router.

Find Your Password – Open Keychain Access (/Applications/Utilities). In the search field enter “airport base”. Double click on the newest entry. Click Show Password. Enter your Mac’s password. The AirPorts password should now be listed.

Factory Reset – This erases all its settings, including your lost password. You’ll need to set it up again using the AirPort Utility app. But at least you’ll know the password. See Apple’s instructions.