In the networking world, a default gateway is an IP address that traffic gets sent to when it’s bound for a destination outside the current network. On most home and small business networks where you have a single router and several connected devices, the router’s private IP address is the default gateway. All devices on your network send traffic to that IP address by default. In this guide, we’ll explain How To find your Router’s IP Address.
Windows devices call this the “default gateway” in the interface. Macs, iPhones, and iPads simply call it “router” in their interfaces. And on other devices, you may just see “gateway” or something similar. The IP address for your router is important because that’s the address you’ll have to type into your browser to locate your router’s web-based setup page where you can configure its settings, that is, rename your network, modify the password, adjust the security level, create a guest network, and set up or alter a variety of other options.
The process for logging into your router should be the same whether you use your internet provider’s router or you purchased your router. It should also be the same whether you use a dedicated router or a combination modem/router supplied by your provider. But how do you first get into your router to make those changes?
Find Your Router’s IP Address
If you’ve forgotten what that IP address is, here’s how to find it on just about every platform.
You log into your router’s firmware through a browser. Any browser will do. At the address field, type the IP address of your router. Most routers use an address of 192.168.1.1. But that’s not always the case, so you may first want to confirm the address of your router.
To find your router’s IP address, type ‘cmd’ in the Windows search bar and press ‘Enter’ to open the command prompt. Type ‘config in the command prompt and press ‘Enter’ to run the command. Scroll through the information until you see a setting for Default Gateway under Ethernet adapter or Wireless LAN adapter. That’s your router, and the number next to it is your router’s IP address. Close the window when done.
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In Windows 10, you can also go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > View hardware and connection properties. The next screen displays details for your different network connections. Scan the entry for Ethernet or Wi-Fi and look for the Default Gateway setting to find your router’s IP address. Once you have the correct IP address, type it into your browser’s address field and press Enter.
Username And Password
After you type the IP address, you’re asked for a username and password to access your router’s firmware. This is either the default username and password for your router, or a unique username and password that you may have created when you set up the router.
If you created your username and password, log in with these credentials. However, if you don’t remember your login credentials or you never changed them from the unit’s default, signing in becomes a bit trickier. Some routers offer a password-recovery feature. If this is true of your router, this option should appear after you enter the wrong username and password a certain number of times. Typically, this window will ask for your router’s serial number, which you can find on the bottom or side of the router.
If you never changed the router’s login credentials, many use a default username of admin and a default password of password. Try that combination to see if it works. Otherwise, your best bet is to run a web search for the default username and password of the brand of your routers, such as Netgear, Linksys, Asus, or TP-Link.
Another option is to check out the Router Passwords website, where you can select the manufacturer of your router to get a list of default usernames and passwords. Use each of the suggestions to try signing into your router.
If you still can’t log into your router’s firmware, you’ll need to reset the device to revert all settings to their defaults. You’ll usually find a small reset button on your router. Use a pointed object, like a pen or paper clip, to push in and hold the reset button for around 10 seconds. You should now be able to log into your router using the default username and password.
Change Router Settings
After you gain access to your router’s firmware, you’ll be free to change whatever elements should be modified. These include the network name and password, the security level, and the Wi-Fi password. You can also set up parental controls, create a guest network, and manage attached devices. Just remember to apply any changes before you move on to the next screen.
Documentation and built-in help should be available to assist you with the different options if you’re not sure how to set them. Most current or recent routers also have setup wizards that can take care of some of this labor for you.
Change Router Login
As one example, you should change your router’s username and password from their default values. Doing so better secures your router so only you can access the firmware. With some routers, you can change both the username and password. With others, only the password can be changed, while the username is typically stuck as admin.
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To change the password, look for an option that is typically nested under the Administration tab. The screen will likely ask for your current router password and then ask you to enter a new password.
As you create the new password, remember the usual recommendations for creating a secure password. Use one that’s not too difficult for you to remember but complex enough so it’s not easy to guess. A passphrase, which uses a combination of easy-to-remember words, is also a good option.
Your router’s firmware may also ask you to set up security questions and answers, another handy way to prove your identity. You’ll then have to apply the settings and log back into your router.
Review Wi-Fi Password
You should also review your Wi-Fi password to make sure it’s strong and secure. To do this, look for a wireless or Wi-Fi section in the router’s firmware. You should see your current Wi-Fi name and password listed. Create a more secure password if you feel the current one is too weak. Again, keep the usual password recommendations in mind as you do this
If you’re still using the default Wi-Fi name, such as Netgear or Linksys, change that to something more unique. Under Security Options or a similar section, make sure the security for your network is set to WPA2-PSK [AES], which is currently the strongest level available for home wireless networks. Apply your new settings and close the browser window when finished.
Find Your Router’s IP Address In Mac OS X
If you’re using a Mac, finding your router’s IP address is pretty straightforward. Click the “Apple” menu on the bar at the top of your screen and select “System Preferences”. In the “System Preferences” window, click the “Network” icon.
Then, select your network connection, for example, a Wi-Fi or wired connection, and then click the “Advanced” button at the bottom of the screen.
In the “Network” window, select the “TCP/IP” tab. You’ll see your router’s IP address listed simply as “Router.”
Find Your Router’s IP Address On The iPhone And iPad
On an iPhone or iPad, just head to Settings > Wi-Fi, and then tap the name of your Wi-Fi network. You’ll see the router’s IP address listed as “Router”.
Find Your Router’s IP Address In Android
Oddly enough, Android doesn’t provide a way to view network connection information out of the box.
Many third-party Android apps will show this information, including Wi-FI Analyzer, which also provides an excellent way to choose the ideal Wi-Fi channel for your router’s Wi-Fi network. If you have another network information app, just look for the “Gateway” IP address.
If you use Wi-Fi Analyzer, tap the “View” menu, and then select “AP list”. At the top of this screen, you’ll see a “Connected to [Network Name]” header. Tap that and a window will appear with more information about your network. You’ll find the router’s address listed as “Gateway.”
Find Your Router’s IP Address In Chrome OS
If you’re using a Chromebook, click the notification area at the right side of your taskbar, click the “Connected to [Network Name]” option in the list that pops up, and then click the name of the wireless network you’re connected to.
When the network information appears, click the “Network” tab and you’ll see the router’s address listed as “Gateway.”
Find Your Router’s IP Address In Linux
Most Linux desktops have a network icon in their notification area. Typically, you can click this network icon and then select “Connection Information” or something similar. Look for the IP address displayed next to “Default Route” or “Gateway”.
And now that you know generally what to look for and where, you should also be able to find your router’s IP address without too much trouble on devices we haven’t covered, too. Any device that allows you to connect to the network and view information about the network connection should display it. Just look under the network connection settings for anything listing a gateway, router, or default route address.
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