Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 115 115 people found this article helpful How to Change Your Wireless Router's Admin Password Change that default admin password before you get hacked By Andy O'Donnell Writer Andy O'Donnell, MA, is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a senior security engineer who is active in internet and network security. our editorial process Andy O'Donnell Updated November 11, 2019 The Wireless Connection The Wireless Connection Introduction All About Wireless What Does Wireless Really Mean? 802.11 Standards Explained The Range Of A Wireless Network Dual-Band Wireless Networking Explained How Bluetooth Works With Wireless Measure It: Wi-Fi Signal Strength What Is A Wi-Fi Hotspot? The Best Wi-Fi Channels For Your Network Access Your Router As An Administrator 5 Tips for Securing A Wireless Network How Many Devices Can Connect To One Wireless Router? 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Try This What to Do When There's No Internet Connection The Future of Wireless 5G Changes Everything How 4G And 5G Are Different Why 5G Really Is Faster All About 5G Cell Towers 5G Challenges: Why It Isn't Rolling Out Faster Is 5G The High-Speed Replacement for Cable? When 5G Is Coming to the US The 12 Best 5G Phones Coming in 2019 Tweet Share Email Hackers have been breaking into wireless networks for a long time, but they don't even need to hack your wireless if you never changed your wireless router's admin password from its default value. If you haven't changed the admin password on your router after you set it up the first time, then all the hacker needs to do is look up the default password and log in. Lifewire / Derek Abella Check out lists of default passwords for Cisco, D-Link, NETGEAR, and Belkin routers if you need help locating the credentials for your router. Other sources of default admin passwords include downloadable PDF manuals available in the support section of most router manufacturers' websites. Many people "set up" their router by plugged it in and then following a few steps on a quick setup card. Few change the admin password after using it to set up the router — although they, and you, should. 1:22 What Is a Router and How Does it Work? Change the Default Router Password Directions vary by make and model of router. Make sure to consult your router's operating manual before performing any kind of reset procedure, and always follow proper safety precautions indicated in your router's documentation. The steps that follow are general. If executed, they will wipe all of your router's configuration settings and set them back to their out-of-the-box factory defaults. You will have to change all your router's settings, such as your wireless network SSID, password, encryption settings, and so on, after performing this step. Press and hold the reset button on the back of your wireless router You will probably have to hold the reset button from 10 to 30 seconds, depending on your brand of router. If you hold it for too short a time it will simply reset the router but won't revert back to its factory default settings. On some routers, you may have to use a pin or thumbtack to press the button if it is recessed inside the router. Connect a computer to one of your router's Ethernet ports Most routers offer a browser-accessible administrator page that you must log into in order to access the router's configuration settings. Some routers disable administration through wireless connections, so connect to the router using an Ethernet cable — and don't connect to the router port that says WAN or Internet — before attempting to access the router's configuration page. Enter the IP address of your router's administrative interface in your browser's address bar Most routers have what is called a nonroutable internal IP address, such as 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1. This internal address cannot be accessed from the internet, but if accessed from within the network connects to the router directly. Some standard addresses include: Apple: 10.0.1.1ASUS: 192.168.1.1Belkin: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.2.1Buffalo: 192.168.11.1DLink: 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1Linksys: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1Netgear: 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.0.227 You may have to consult your specific router's manual for the correct address or check a site such as RouterIPaddress.com. Enter the default administrator login name and the default administrator password You can locate the default admin name and password for your specific router by checking the manufacturer's website or looking for a sticker on the side or bottom of the router. In many cases, the login name is admin and the password is blank — which is why changing the password is such a vital security requirement. Change the router's admin password Instructions vary by router manufacturer, but in general, you'll want to look for the security settings page. Change the administrator credentials. If you can, change the username. When you reset the password, enter a strong complex password. Router Passwords vs. Network Passwords Your router's administrative password is not the same as the password to access your Wi-Fi. In fact, you should not use the same password for both purposes.