How do I adjust the settings of my home router?

Updated: 08/08/2017 by Computer Hope

Reasons you might need to change the configuration of your home router include:

  • Changing the name (SSID) of your wireless network.
  • Changing the password (encryption key) of your wireless network.
  • Changing your router's firewall rules to allow inbound or outbound traffic on specific network ports.
  • Changing the domain name servers (DNS) used by your router to resolve network addresses.
  • Changing the username and password used to access your router's administration interface.
  • Enabling or disabling remote administration for your router, which allows the administrator to configure the router from a computer outside the network.
  • Setting parental controls to restrict access to specific websites from your network.

How do I configure my model of router?

This page describes the general procedure for configuring your home router. However, every router is different. Even routers made by the same manufacturer may use different configuration tools, depending on the model. So to configure your router, it's important to consult the manual that corresponds with your exact router model. If you don't know which model router you have, check the its case for the identifying information.

If you no longer have the printed manual that came with your router, you can find the documentation online, at your manufacturer's support website. Here are some quick links to the support sites for popular routers:

Accessing your router's configuration interface

Most modern routers provide an administration Control Panel that can be accessed through your web browser. You can connect to it just like a normal website. The page is served to your browser directly from your router.

To connect to your router's web interface, follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your local network - You need to be connected to your LAN through your router to access the router's web interface. This connection can be either wireless, or wired (using an Ethernet cable connected to one of your router's Ethernet ports). For detailed instructions about how to create a wired connection to your router, see our guide.
  2. Open a new browser window - You can use any Internet browser such as Firefox, Chrome, Edge, or Safari.
  3. Navigate to your router's local address - In the address bar, type the IP address of your router. This depends on your browser's configuration, but it is usually one of the following:

192.168.0.1
192 .168.1.1
10.0.0.1
10.0.1.1

In the image below, the address 192.168.0.1 is entered into the address bar.

Entering a router's address into the web browser's address bar

If none of the above listed IP addresses work for you, consult your manual. Some routers may reserve a special local address that automatically brings you to your router's web interface. For instance, many Netgear routers can be accessed by navigating to routerlogin.net.

You can also find your router's address by asking your computer's network hardware what it is. See determining your router address, below, for more information.

  1. Log in to the web interface - If you successfully navigate to your router, you will see a login prompt, which will look different depending on your model of router and which browser you're using. It may look as simple as the example below.

A simple login prompt for a router's web interface.

At this prompt, you should enter your router's administrator username and password — note that this not the same as the password that you use to connect to your network.

If you don't know this information, consult your router's manual. It may also be printed on the router itself. Some router manufacturers create a unique login for each router, and some use a simple default that is the same for every unit of that model.

If you're still stuck, you can always try one of the traditional default combinations:

username password
admin password
admin admin
admin
administrator password
administrator
user password
user
  1. After entering the correct username and password, you can access the web interface, which will look similar to this:

Linksys router setup screen

From here, you have access to all the configurable options on your router.

Be careful! If you change something you don't understand, you might accidentally disable or degrade the performance of your network. If you change any settings, write down your changes on a piece of paper or record them in a text file so they can be used in the future if needed.

Resetting the router to factory defaults

If you make a mistake configuring your router, or if you can't log in with your router's default username and password, you can reset your router to its factory default settings. On most wireless routers, a button devoted to this function is located in back of the device. The button may or may not be labeled, and it may be recessed so that it can only be pressed with the end of a paperclip. Check your manual for details.

Holding in this button for a certain number of seconds will reset the router to its original settings. Ten seconds is usually enough.

Among other things, this will reset your wireless network name (SSID) and key (network password) to their defaults. After a reset, you need to re-establish any connections to the wireless network using these default values.

Determining router address

To authoritatively determine your router's IP address, you should query your network device for its current configuration. There are different ways to do this, depending on your operating system:

Windows Command Prompt

Open a Windows Command Prompt window. You can do this by pressing Win+X (hold down the Windows key and press X) to open the Power Users menu, then selecting Command Prompt.

At the command prompt, type ipconfig and press enter:

ipconfig

Your router's IP address is listed in the output as your default gateway:

ipconfig output in the Windows Command Prompt

In this example, the router's address is 192.168.1.1.

Windows PowerShell

Beginning in 2017, Windows 10 uses the PowerShell as its default command prompt. It's an enhanced version of the traditional command prompt.

To run PowerShell, press Win+R (hold down the Windows key and press R). In the Run menu, type powershell and press enter (or click OK).

Running PowerShell from the Run menu

At the PowerShell prompt, run ipconfig.

ipconfig
Ethernet adapter Ethernet:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : your-router-name
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fa88::3203:8d2e:f035:757a%4
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.154
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

Tunnel adapter

[...interface-specific output...]

Tip: PowerShell allows you to isolate text in your output. By piping the command to select-string, which is similar to the unix tool grep, you can display only those lines containing the string "Gateway":

ipconfig | select-string --pattern "Gateway"

PowerShell output using select-string

Linux

In Linux, use the route command with the -n option. The command must be run as root.

In a terminal window, run:

sudo route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
0.0.0.0         192.168.1.1     0.0.0.0         UG    1024   0        0 eth0
169.254.0.0     0.0.0.0         255.255.0.0     U     1000   0        0 eth0
192.168.1.0     0.0.0.0         255.255.255.0   U     0      0        0 eth0

This output represents the kernel's routing table using numeric addresses (-n). The gateway address is listed in the second column of the table, next to the destination 0.0.0.0, which is your local computer.

Using the route command to determine the network's gateway address in linux

In the example above, the router's address is 192.168.1.1.

macOS X

In OS X, the syntax of route uses the keyword get and requires a destination address.

Open a new terminal (ApplicationsUtilitiesTerminal) and run:

sudo route -n get 0.0.0.0 | grep gateway

Sample output:

gateway: 192.168.1.1