Wireless Security: How to Change Default Administrator Usernames and Passwords
Note: This post is part of our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network“. The series contains a 10 step guide to securing your home wireless network.
Most routers or access points come enabled with a default set of username/password combinations. These combinations are well documented and available online for hackers to use. If a hacker can access your device’s administrative pages they can modify the configuration and control all aspects of your device.
These username/password combinations can be changed from the admin panel and should be set to something difficult to guess.
Although most routers have different methods to change the username and password details, the general steps are as follows. Incase of difficulty, consult your Wireless Router manual or customer support.
1. Find your LAN IP Address
You can identify the LAN IP Address of your machine by going to Start -> Run and execute the command “cmd”. Inside this command prompt you can execute the command “ipconfig /all”
2. Access Your Router
Once you have the IP Address for your router, we can use this to access the router and change settings. We need to open the router’s settings page via the browser by visiting http://192.168.0.1/ (Use the IP you found in step 1 ). This will prompt you for a username and password which is usually “admin/admin”, “admin/password”. Sometimes these fields are left blank, but the best way to know is the user manual.
3. Set a Password
Once you have logged into the router control panel, you need to look for a section such as “Administration” or “Maintainence”, “Security” etc. Depending on the make of your router, you will find the setting to change the password under one of these sections.
Here you will enter your existing password from Step 2 and select a strong password that will be used for future administration of the router.
4. You’re Done!
Thats it, you’re router now has a strong password to prevent any unauthorized user from accessing your router control panel and accessing or changing its settings.
Now we recommend that you go back to our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network” and implement all the remaining recommendations into your router.