But! This is the point where a lot of people run into trouble. The factory-set login for the netgear router’s admin interface is “admin” and the password is “password” (without quotes). However, it is sometimes the case that this has been changed, perhaps by you, perhaps by the installer, perhaps by your rascally cat. If you can’t log in, and can’t remember the password you set, see “Router Reset” below.
Why Does My Router Have An Address?I knew you were wondering, so I just went ahead and put it out there. Well. It’s like this: in order for the router to do its job, sending and receiving signals from various remote devices, every device on your network must have its own unique IP address. Your computer has an IP address. Your printer has an IP address. And because your netgear router itself is one of those devices, it also must have its own IP address. Router manufacturers give their routers a default IP address that will stay constant unless you manually change it (which, on the rare occasion, you might, if ever you had another device on the same network with the same IP)
There are many models of Netgear routers, but most of the home and light commercial routers have the same default IP address: 192.168.0.1. Why that one? Just because. It’s an arbitrary standard —- there’s no reason that the router couldn’t have any other IP address, and any other device could have this one -— but by sticking with a standard default address, Netgear minimizes the chances that its router will conflict with other devices. Other manufacturers tend to choose default addresses that are different from those of their competitors; Linksys routers usually have an IP address of 192.168.1.1, and Belkin routers generally default to 192.168.2.1.
Your router also uses another identifier to help devices find it. The Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a name that describes the network and allows devices to understand which network they’re talking to. But if you know your router’s IP address, stick with it — it’s the simpler route to accessing the router’s configuration so that you can manage options like the network password or SSID. Which is why you’re here, right? So you can change that stuff. Most likely either change, or place, a password on your network, so you can keep that rascally cat from stealing your wifi!
Router configurationYou can easily change your router’s configuration if you know its IP address. Unless you’ve changed it, it will still be the default—either 192.168.0.1 or another address specified in the user’s manual. If you connect the router to your computer with an Ethernet cable and type that IP address into a web browser, you should be directed to the router’s configuration interface.
The interface will ask you for a username and password. Again, unless you’ve changed them, the username and password will still be set to the default; for most Netgear routers the default username is “admin,” and the default password is “password.” Type those in, and you should have access to all of the router’s configuration settings.