How to Connect to Your Home Router as an Administrator

Use the router's IP address to access its settings and make changes

What to Know

  • To access a router, you must know the router's IP address and the administrative user's password and username.
  • To request a connection to the router, enter the IP address in a web browser—, for example.
  • Make sure you're using the correct IP address. Then reboot the router, disable the firewall, and reset the router to factory settings.

This article explains how to connect to your router as an administrator. These steps work for nearly any router and modem and can be accomplished through any web browser.

How to Access a Router as an Administrator

There are several reasons you may need to access your router as an administer. One basic reason is to change the default password or username. You access the router through a web browser using either an Ethernet cable or a wireless connection. Here's how:

  1. Identify the IP address of the router. Most routers are manufactured to use a default address such as,,, or

    If those don't work, and you don't know the router's default IP address or it was changed, you need to find your default gateway IP address.

  2. In a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Firefox, request a connection to the router. Do this by typing the router's IP address (in the format in the browser's address bar.

  3. Enter the administrative login information—username and password—to authenticate and access the admin settings.

Routers are shipped with default usernames and passwords—usually, the word admin is the default username, but it could be different for your router. Some routers might not have a password or username.

Default passwords and usernames are published online for NETGEAR, D-Link, Linksys, and Cisco routers. If you have a different router, consult the router documentation or manufacturer's website.

Some routers are not accessed in the way described here. Most are, but a few require different (usually easier) steps, such as using a mobile app.

If you want to access a router outside your network, enable Remote Administration. You'll also need to know the router's external IP to make this work so that you can enter that address into the browser. However, this type of connection isn't guaranteed even if the remote admin setting is on since the IP address can easily change (if it's a dynamic IP, which most home networks are).

What If I Can't Access My Router?

If, after you try the username and password on the router, the browser returns an error message, your computer might not be connected to the correct router, or the username and password combination might not be correct.

If you're sure that you're using the correct IP address to access the router, try the following procedures:

  1. Reboot the router.

  2. Open a web browser and request a connection to the router using its IP address.

  3. If that doesn't work, temporarily disable any firewall on your device.

  4. Try again to open a web browser and request a connection to the router using its IP address.

  5. Still no luck? Reset your router to factory defaults.

    This action restores the router to its default condition with the default IP address, username, and password that it shipped with initially.

  6. Open a web browser and request a connection to the router using its IP address.


How to Reboot a Router & Modem

Administer a Router Over Wi-Fi

Setting up a router for the first time is best done over a wired connection so that the connection isn't dropped if the security or wireless settings are changed in the process.

When you access a router over Wi-Fi, keep the computer close to the router, in the same room if possible, to avoid connection drops due to interference or weak wireless signals.

  • How do I access my router settings from my smartphone?

    To log in to your router on your phone, connect to your Wi-Fi network, install the mobile app for your router, then create an account or log in. From the app, you can change your Wi-Fi password, improve network security, enable remote access, and more.

  • What's the difference between a modem and a router?

    The main difference between a modem and a router is that the modem actually connects to the internet. The router disperses your internet connection to devices through your home and can provide Wi-Fi connections as well.

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