Your broadband router is in fact a small special-purpose computer for connecting two or more networks, usually a local network at home or in a small office to the broadband Internet. It has a CPU and digital memory, but no display or keyboard. You access your router’s embedded operating system for setup and configuration via an administrative console with a web interface, and to enter it you need to know the following three things:
- router’s IP address (see How to look up the internal IP address of a router?)
- administrator’s login
- administrative password
Routers are password protected from unauthorized access and come with a default login and password set by the manufacturer or the ISP.
Default router logins/passwords
On the bottom of your unit you’ll usually see a sticker bearing factory settings information, including administrator’s username/password. The most common options are:
- Username: admin / administrator / setup / blank box
- Password: admin / administrator / password (as a word) / blank box
You can try those or use web search to get the default login/password combination for your model.
If your Ethernet or wireless broadband router was provided by ISP, the username and password are likely to have been changed: try the name of your ISP as login and 1234 as password, or contact support for information.
Resetting your router
A router reset will at any time restore its factory settings and it’s the way to access the console when you forgot the administrative login/password. Normally a reset won’t affect firmware updates, keeping the latest version.
You’ll find the hard reset button at the rear of your device, use a paperclip end to press the button. You’ll need to hold it down for 30 secs, the router will reboot in another 1—2 minutes with the original settings assigned at the factory.
Most broadband routers for home or small office use allow a software reset: when logged in to the administrative console, navigate to the menu option called ‘Restore factory setting’ or ‘Restore factory defaults’ and follow the instructions.