When you get a router from the manufacturer you get a default password to the admin panel. This is the same for all the routers from that manufacturer. Therefore, it’s important to change that password, to avoid any hackers easily accessing your home network.
As a network engineer, I’m astounded by how few people change the password to their admin panel on their router. Because it’s very important for your home security. Here I will explain why you should change it and how you do it.
Anyone can find the default password
When you first receive your router you usually log in to the admin panel at least once to set it all up. It’s then also recommended to change the password to the admin panel, but few do. The default password to the router is the same for all the routers with the same model number. It can be found in the product manual or on the internet.
If you don’t change this, anyone can access your router by just checking the model and googling the password and username for that router. Thereafter, they can change any setting, even locking you out from your own internet.
This is the same as your lock to your home. If you buy a house and ignore to change the locks, the keys the previous owner had will have access to your home. It works the same for routers, you should change both the password and the lock to stay secure.
Easy to Access Your Network
The router password is very easy to find, you just need to learn what router you have and thereafter google for the username and password and log in. And even if they don’t know what router you have, it’s very easy to just try the most common usernames and passwords, and 9 times out of 10 it will work.
One argument against needing to change the password is that your router’s signal is limited in reach and therefore so few people will even see your Wi-Fi. But this is wrong because often it will reach out to the street or into the neighbors home.
In the best-case scenario, your neighbor decides to borrow your Wi-Fi, making it slower. And in the worst case, someone manages to access your computer files through the network and downloads viruses and other malware into your devices.
Many Don’t Change Password
If you haven’t changed your Wi-Fi password you’re not alone. I survey found that 82% of British broadband users never change their admin panel login password. 42% didn’t even know they should have.
So you should not feel bad about not having changed the password, most others haven’t either. Because the router companies are bad at making it clear for the buyer that they should.
Changing your Default Router Password
To change your password you need to first log into the router’s admin panel. To do this there are three main steps. These are:
- Have your device connected to the routers internet
- Type in 192.168.1.1 in a web browser and press enter.
- Either google your router model and check for password and username or try the admin and admin. As both password and username (they are very common).
If you have any problems with any of the steps check out this guide on how to access your router on Networks Hardware. There you will find the most common problems and how to solve them.
From the admin panel, look for a “change password”. Then change the password to something secure, not 123456. If you are worried you will forget to write it down somewhere. Maybe put a sticker on the bottom of your router and write it there.
Even though most people don’t change their router password, they should. Because it’s very easy to hack a network with the default password. And from there, the hacker can introduce viruses and malware into your device. Therefore, you should change your router’s admin panel password.