What Is a Router Password and How Can You Change Your Router Password
What Is a Router Password and Why Do You Need One?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding router passwords and wifi passwords. First of all, your router password isn’t your Wi-Fi password – these are definitely not the same thing. Your Wi-Fi password is used by guests when they want to go online from your place, while a router password lets you access your router’s settings.
When you receive your router, it will probably come with a default password, which is usually easy to remember and guess. Sometimes the router doesn’t even have a password, making your access to its settings even easier.
Default router passwords can usually be found in manuals you receive with the router itself. What’s more, there are lists of router IPs, usernames, and passwords online, allowing you to search for the default password according to your router name. This makes it even easier for others to log into your router.
After getting your router, it’s best to change the router’s password in terms of security. In fact, default router passwords are meant to be changed. Otherwise, anyone who has access to it will be able to change the router’s settings.
Another thing that might happen is that you may even get locked out of your router. Once someone logs into your router, they are able to change the router’s password and hijack the network, which is by far one of the biggest things users want to avoid.
Best case scenario of not changing your password is someone else changing your Wi-Fi password or changing up the DNS server settings. Worst case scenario is your internet connection being used for illegal reasons, your computer files being accessed by others, and hackers introducing viruses and other malware into your home network.
Another reason to protect your router with a password is that it will save your bandwidth. With an unprotected router, anyone nearby can exploit your internet connection, which would make your connection slower. For people living in apartment buildings, this may often be the case as they are surrounded by many neighbors who are within range of other people’s internet connections.
Moreover, you do not want to be blamed for a crime you didn’t do. Anyone who is using your internet seems like they’re you online. That is, people connecting online through your router are going to have your IP address. If they’re doing something illegal, you will seem to be the one who’s responsible. This could lead to fines or even jail time, and it is pretty difficult pleading your case when all routes end at your doorstep.
If you’re wondering how to change your router password, just keep on reading.
How to Change Router Password
Resetting the router default password is fairly simple and straightforward, and you won’t need to be a brilliant IT mastermind to complete the process. Here is how to get it done.
First, reset the router to its default settings. This means all changes will be wiped, and the router will be back in its original state.
To reset the router – hold the reset button for a while (10-30 seconds, the length depends on your router). Holding the reset button for too little will reset it, but the router won’t go back to default factory settings. If the reset button is inside the router, you might need to use a thumbtack or a pin to get to it and press it.
Next, connect your computer to an Ethernet port in your router. While many routers let you login through a browser-accessible administrator page, some disable administration via wireless connections. Therefore, connect to your router with an Ethernet cable before accessing its configuration page.
Afterwards, enter your router’s IP address into the browser’s address bar. You can find your address in your router’s manual or find it online. Here are some standard IP addresses:
- Apple: 10.0.1.1
- Belkin: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.2.1
- ASUS: 192.168.1.1
- Buffalo: 192.168.11.1
- Linksys: 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1
- DLink: 192.168.0.1 or 10.0.0.1
- Netgear: 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.0.227
After having done all the previous actions, type in the default admin name and the default admin password. There is usually a sticker on your router (on the side or at the bottom of it) with the router’s default username and password. You can also find it on the manufacturer’s website. Often, the username is something as simple as admin, while the password is simply blank.
Finally, change your router’s admin password. This is generally done in the security settings, though this may vary. When changing the password, make it strong and complex, something on which we’ll give you tips right below.
Tips on Creating a Secure Login
Here are some ways to make sure no one ever figures out your password.
First of all, use longer passwords. This means having between 12-15 characters. The longer your password is, the better, because longer passwords are more difficult to crack. Include capital letters, symbols, and numbers in your password. For instance, you may use $ instead of S, @ instead of A, or simply include some symbols such as #, %, &, etc.
Do not use passwords that can be easily guessed by hackers. Social media gives out lots of information on you – your birthday date, names of your pets or children, etc. So, do not use your birth date for a password, or the name of your pet, as these will be easily discoverable.
Using a passphrase has been recommended by experts recently. These should be quite long, around 20 characters, and should be formed of random words, including symbols, numbers and lower case and upper case letters. For example, string together words that you will be able to remember, but that others won’t be able to guess. Something along the lines of Blue34Pasta$nicker$rb00ks#.
You can also use a password manager. There are programs that create strong passwords for you. You must only remember one password – the one that lets you log in to the program, and the program itself will store and create all the other passwords for you.
Keep your devices secure. There is malicious software that records your keystrokes and is used to steal people’s passwords. Using antivirus software and keeping your operating system up-to-date will increase your security.
VPN for Routers
One way you can keep your router more secure is by investing in a fantastic and reliable VPN. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) makes sure that your connection is always completely secure by acting as a secure tunnel that stands between you and the internet. VPNs protect you from censorship, snooping, and interference.
What’s more, they allow you to change your location, or mask it, which lets you surf the net anonymously and bypass geographical restrictions.
When you’re using a public Wi-Fi, it can lure in hackers who want to acquire your private information (such as your bank account info) and perhaps commit identity fraud. With a VPN, you will be able to use hotspots freely and stay completely safe.
Another danger on the internet are phishing websites, which are full of various malware, not easy to spot, and are just waiting to infiltrate your devices. A VPN will notify you of these types of websites before you get the chance to visit them.
Some devices do not support VPN services. These include smart TVs and digital cameras, both of which can be targeted by cybercriminals because of a lack of protection. That’s when installing a VPN on your router comes in handy.
If your router has a VPN, all your electronic devices that are connected to it will stay protected as well. This means not only your computer, but also your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart televisions. This is great for the home and for businesses, too.
Many VPN services have a strict no-logs policy, which means that they are committed to keeping your privacy. They will hide your IP, encrypt your communications, let you stream your favorite content and avoid spying, unblock censored websites, and help you fight ads.
In short, here are the main benefits of having a VPN for your router:
- You can use the VPN services on all kinds of devices
- You don’t have to switch it on and off – the router will always connect through the VPN
- If you have VPN on your router, all your devices have it as well
- There are also specialized VPN routers, some of which are:
- Linksys WRT 3200 ACM router
- Linksys WRT1900ACS
- Asus RT-AC86U router
- Asus RT-AC5300 router
- Linksys WRT32X Gaming Router
- D-link DIR-885L/R router
- Netgear Nighthawk X4S VDSL/ADSL Modem Router D7800
AV for Routers
To keep your computer and smartphone protected, you need AV (antivirus) software which you might already have an antivirus for your computer. However, routers are also often targeted by hackers nowadays, which is why they need protection, too.
There are numerous examples of people’s routers being attacked by cybercriminals, and because of this, people couldn’t connect to their network and go online. In fact, there are more and more occurrences of routers being attacked by hackers.
Without an antivirus, someone may be able to infiltrate your router, monitor you, and steal your data. What’s more, when your router is hacked, attackers also gain access to other devices within your home network.
Every day, you’re transferring various data through your devices, including your location, personal messages, passwords, and financial information. Malware can steal your documents or make bots out of your devices that will dig up info without you knowing. VPNFilter is an example of this kind of malware – it infected about 500,000 routers across the world in 2018.
Installing AV software comes as a solution to your security problems
AV software will protect your router and all your other devices that are connected to the router. It does so by recognizing malware and getting rid of it.
Naturally, there are free options and others that you pay for. No-cost options can be very good, but the ones you pay for usually provide more benefits. For instance, they might offer a built-in backup software, antispam protection, protection against phishing websites, and a toolbar for your browser which warns you if a site that you’re visiting is hosting malware.
When downloading antivirus software, beware of fake sites made by scammers and always download AV software from official websites.
Additional Ways to Secure Your Connection
Besides having a VPN and an antivirus, there are more ways that can maximize your Wi-Fi network security.
One thing to do is to turn off features that you do not use. Check out the settings on your router and see if there are applications that you’re not using and don’t need. If you don’t need to access your router’s control panel, you can turn off remote management.
Another thing you can turn off is Universal Plug and Play, which lets different devices in your network connect to one another. This can be risky if one of your devices is infected, as it can spread the malware onto your other devices and infiltrate them as well.
You can also disable the guest network (in case you have it and it isn’t password protected) so that random people do not use your connection for illegal things.
Using WPA2 can also improve your network security. WPA2 prevents outside parties from attempting to hack you by guessing your Wi-Fi password. Some older routers do not have WPA2, so make sure that your router is up-to-date.
Finally, switch on automatic updates so you don’t need to run updates manually. In case your router is old and its company stops releasing updates for it, invest in a new router in order to keep your home network well protected.
Changing your router password is a must. Since router passwords are well-known and very easy to access, they really are meant to be changed as soon as possible. If you do not change it, hackers, or basically anyone who has access to your router password, will be able to change the settings on your router and lock you out of it.
When changing the password, remember to create a strong one that no one will be able to break. Use numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters. You can even use a passphrase, which consists of random words (as well as numbers and symbols) strung together that you can remember, but that others would never be able to guess.
Moreover, purchasing a VPN and connecting it through your router will keep your network secure, and all your devices will be covered and protected. When choosing a VPN service, consider the speed and whether your initial connection speed will change when adding a VPN.
There are routers which block VPNs, so make sure to check that the service you chose is compatible with your router.
Another thing that will keep you safe is investing in antivirus software, as it will ensure that your router stays safe. You can also turn off features that you’re not using and turn on automatic updates.
After undertaking the aforementioned steps to router security, you really won’t ever have to worry about your internet connection not being safe.