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Tech Tip Tuesday: Secure Your Wireless Router

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In general these days, many articles written about wireless routers or technologies are negative due to the security risks involved with using an insecure router. In reality, as long as your neighbor is not Kevin Mitnick, it requires deep expertise to trace one’s traffic and online transactions.

With that said, it is still a good idea to do as much as you can to secure your router just in case. Securing your wireless router ranges from the seemingly impossible requiring knowledge of bits and bytes to the very simple for use by the common folk.

This weekly three-part series will provide tips ranging from the very basic to just slightly less basic. This series will be broken down into the following:

Let’s get on with the first part.

Question: How can I password protect my wireless router to ensure my neighbors can’t mess with my router’s settings?

Answer: Follow these simple steps and you’ll be one-step closer to locking down your router.

  1. Open your router’s configuration web page. The URL for this varies across router vendors, so if the first one doesn’t work, try the others or look up this information in your router’s manual (if none of these work, feel free to post a comment and I will try to help as best I can).
  2. Enter your router’s username and password in the login screen as seen below. Again, the username and password varies by router, so either look this up in your router manual or try one of the options below:
    • Usernames: admin, root, or leave blank
    • Passwords: admin or leave blank
    • router login.gif
  3. After you’re logged in to your router’s configuration web page, it’s time change the password to prevent the average Joe from typing in admin or root to access your router.
  4. Navigate to the Administration area
  5. Look for a section related to router password as shown below:router password.gif
  6. Type your new password in the router password field (be sure to write it down or remember it!)
  7. Click Save Changes

That’s it for Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

DISCLAIMER: The author in no way takes responsibility for damage done to your router. If for some reason your router ceases to stop working, find the Reset button on the router and push it in with a pin for 10 seconds. That should reset your router to its factory settings.

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  • Dchartman

    Hi! I have a net gear router and the 3 usernames and passwords you gave didn’t work. Can you still help? I’m very tech illiterate but trying to school myself. Thanks

  • sandy

    I received a user name and password from Netgear and don’t know where to log into it to protect my wifi. How do I do that? Thanks

  • echohecko

    Worked great first time no problems thank you!

  • Amanda

    None of the URLs given above bring anything up on my computer. Please help! Thanks.

  • david

    what about netgear routers, does anyone have a standard username/password combo for that ??

  • Samantha

    Im confused. When I did that it just changed my password from admin to what I entered.

  • todd

    To obtain the IP to use for your router, Windows users do this-

    Start -> Run -> type in “cmd” then hit enter. type it without the quotes, just those 3 letters cmd.

    At the prompt, type in ipconfig /all

    Scan down through the output and look for a Gateway. That is the IP you will use to connect to the router.

    Linksys users just use admin/admin as U:P, there are websites out there that have the default logins at http://www.routerpasswords.com

  • hitarth

    i open my routers administrator area by clicking on above links http://192…..
    and made my router secure…now i want to remove my password…and on clicking on above link its asking for a user name and pass…i tried all default ones which are mentioned above…but it isnt opening….what should i do..plz help ASAP

  • Preet Korani

    Thanks a lot man!!
    I was wondering why my internet used to become so slow some nights and on weekends.
    Turns out 3 people were biting off my wireless.
    Now its secure. THANK YOU!!

  • josh

    i have a linksys wtg54g an can get to the linksys page, yet the page is nearly blank and i cannot do anything with it..it has blanks to type in info, but no way of knowing what anything is? does that make sense? help?

  • Thanks!

    Now my neighbours can’t steal my bandwidth.

  • Carl

    Once you’re inside your router, there should be a “Wireless setup” tab somewhere. There is usually a wizard to help you with the setup

  • Carl

    Assuming the router is set to create it’s IP Addresses dynamically, connect a pc to the router using a LAN cable and open the command prompt. Type “ipconfig/all” and look for the line “Default Gateway”. Assuming no one has tampered with your router, it will list the default ip address of the router. Also, if no one has tampered with your router, username should be “admin” and leave password blank

  • anon

    i cannot find how to password protect my router. mine is different from the ones listed. i do not understand 🙁

  • Steve

    Hi. I used
    And still can’t find my router’s configuration web page. Any clues???

  • Alex

    None of the passwords posted above worked for me. The link works but then none of the passwords will. Do you know whats wrong??

  • Just share the Wi-fi! Don’t worry about slow access, just smile and know you’re providing a service to the world.

  • Lorelai

    none of the addresses are working for me i’m working with a Dl-524 router i live in an apartment and i know the guy upstairs is using my internet to download stuff hes as far as i know not doing anything other than that but i would like to password protect so i dont end up paying for broadband i dont get a chance to use.

  • Elena

    I have the wireless router from Apple . do you know the wesbite where I can log into it? for step 1 in your article. thanks

  • Kim

    Just wanted to thank you for the article, it helped me to secure our router…its now renamed “NoMoreFreebies” lol. Thanks for helping me set up the security! The comment at #19 helped explain a little more for me…in the end its done …thanks!

  • Gigi

    To secure your wireless connection you’ll need to log in to your router – which you’ve seem to have mastered Once you’re in you need to navigate to the Wireless page and set up some type of security. You should rename your router so the SSID broadcast is something you recognize as yours. Disable the SSID so someone will have to have the exact name to find it, enable MAC filtering and/or WEP security (which will ask for a password before a user is allowed access).

  • Vikki

    Thank you Brian, the instructions worked a treat for me.

  • lee

    cannot find info for my belkin 54g

  • kegbert

    I am trying to do the same thing as DROY above…how can I make it so the neighbors can stop steeling my wifi? I am not the holiday inn express for heaven’s sake!

  • Droy

    The above info for me only secures access to changing the settings, however it does not ask me for the password that I typed in when I connect to the internet. This indicates that neighbors can still access my router. When I figure it out, i’ll let ya know how to do it. 😀

  • Tadas

    yeah i get it how to log on and all… but what i dont get is that when i trie to connect with my athor computer to internet via my router im nots asked for any password.. so its unsecure.. how do i set a password ?

  • Ryan

    some models use Login: admin Pass: admin

  • Az

    If you are using Linksys you can get your default settings back by resetting your router.

    (there should be a button on the back)

    After that, the default username and password for a network is this:

    Username: (Leave Blank)
    Password: admin

    And your IN!
    wosnt too hard now was that?

    Ur Welcome,
    Azeem – the 16 yr old genious 😛

  • abhishek

    i did everything u said…and it successfully changed the password, bt the password doesnt work..any1 can still directly access it without any authentication..i want to password protect my wifi connection as well as the secure the router..damn neighbors are using my net for free making the connection really slow..help me out please..

  • Catherine

    Hi! Thank you for your article that helps us to protect our wireless internet. I tried all of the 3 URL on your article but didn’t work. And one of the URL is in my router manual. Could you please help me. Your advise is highly appreciated.

  • Samim

    none of the links works for me.. i cant get in to the linksys… plz help

  • Thanks For the information

  • Brian Schneider

    In most cases, the simple fix is to do a hard reset of your router which will wipe out all its settings and return the router to its original, factory condition. Try the following:

    a. Make sure that the router is turned on.
    b. Press and hold the reset button (on the back of the router).
    c. After 30 seconds, remove the power plug while the button is pressed.
    d. Let go of the reset button and turn on the device.

  • Nate


    I’ve enjoyed your articles, and being that I’m now in a pickle that I believe you might know something about way more than I, I am trying to get my router to be password protected (as advised) in spite of a minor technical problem… The trouble I’m having is that an old roommate set the original password for my router, leaving me without record of what it is (a real bummer). I’ve reset the router many times, but when I get as far as try to go and reset the WEP, as soon as I enter the IP addess I get asked for my for my old one (which I’ve no clue what it is).

    Please help me find how I can resolve this problem, so that I can less piggybackers slowing down my internet experience to a near halt.

  • kashai

    I can get to the [Edited] URL, but I can’t seem to connect to it, I’ve tried the many usernames and passwords, I’ve also tried my router name, and since I don’t have a password for my router, I don’t know how I would get it I’m not sure if I have my manual or anything like that.

    So I’m at a loss, could you help in anyway? I would love to secure my wifi.

  • zane derusseau

    i can get to the login page, but any of the combinations i try do not work i have a linksys router please help

  • agnel

    the above links helped. i’ve typed a username and a passwrod but dono wot to do next plsss help… thanks in advance.

  • macman

    im not able to secure my wireless router. model no wrt54g v5. none of the links above are working for me. please help

  • You should make it secure from the power company too. Make it solar powered