Broadband routers come with factory password protection: a default username and password combination is set by the manufacturer. To login to the router administrative console for the first time, go to your web browser address bar, type 192.168.1.1, 192.168.1.254, 192.168.0.1 or another internal IP if your router has a different one (see How to look up the IP address of your router). You’ll be prompted to enter the default administrator login and password (see How to find the router’s default login and password), and then be logged in to the router’s operating system console.
Default router password settings are not unique for every piece and are public knowledge. The main idea of router password protection is to prevent users from logging in and unintentionally breaking critical settings with administrator access.
However, there is also a growing risk of routers getting infected by trojans or other malware which can manipulate web search results, add desktops, laptops and mobile devices to a DOS attack network or even harvest logins and passwords. It is therefore recommended to change the router username and password during your first session, even though the change is not a must and you can keep the default settings as well.
How to change your router’s administrative username/password
In the router administrative console you’ll find a security tab/section usually called ‘Administration’, containing the password settings. If you’re configuring a wireless broadband router make sure you don’t confuse the router management password with wireless keys used to protect the Wi-Fi network.
Choose a new password, enter and re-enter it in the provided boxes: the characters you type will appear as dots or asterisks. Don’t copy-paste the new password — the idea of manual input is to verify you’re saving the intended symbol combination. Security wise, use common guidelines, bearing in mind that you’re free to reset your router and return to the default password at any time (see How to restore the router factory username and password), so you won’t be in trouble even if you forget your new complicated password.
The change will take effect as soon as you push ‘Save Settings’, ‘Save’ or ‘Confirm’ (usually at the bottom of the tab).