How to Connect to Your Router

Access a Router's IP to Make Administrative Changes

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Though it isn't an everyday occurrence, you might need to connect to your router in order to address a network-wide problem, make changes to the network or configure updates. To do this, you need to know the router's IP address and admin username/password combo.

With wireless routers, you should also be aware of a few common Wi-Fi connection problems and how to solve them.

How to Access a Router as an Administrator

Follow these steps in order to log in to your router:

  1. Verify that your computer is connected to the router either via an Ethernet cable or wireless connection.
  2. Verify the IP address of your router. Home routers are manufactured to use a default address like,, or

    If unsure of your router's default IP address, or if you have changed it previously, see how to find a router's IP address.
  3. Open a web browser like Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox, and request a connection to the router using its IP address. For example, type in the address bar to request a connection to a router that's configured with the IP address.
  4. Enter the administrative login information to authenticate and access the admin settings.

    Routers are shipped with default usernames and passwords. This is usually the word admin but might be different for your router. See the default passwords for NETGEAR, D-Link, Linksys and Cisco routers if you have one of those routers, or consult your router's documentation if you're not sure what it is.

    What if I Can't Access My Router?

    If after trying 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/password combo might not have been correct.

    If you're sure that you're using the correct IP address to access the router, try the following procedures, repeating Step 3 after each one:

    The final step will restore the router to its default condition with the IP address, username, and password that it was shipped with. You can restart the steps above if you've completed a router reset.

    Administering a Router Over Wi-Fi

    Setting up a router for the first time is best done over a wired connection so that your connection isn't dropped if the security or wireless settings are changed the process. However, it can be done over wireless too.

    When connecting to a router via Wi-Fi, keep the computer close to the router - in the same room if necessary - to avoid connection drops due to interference or weak wireless signals.