Wi-Fi is a technology that has been around for a few decades, yet its use has become widespread only in the past number of years. With the rise of smartphones, it is always convenient to browse for information over the internet without the need to wait for a computer to load up. As much easy as it is for you to use your Wi-Fi that you have set up in your own home, it is also easier for others to take advantage of your Internet data if you have not set a password to block access to strangers. Or, you may have a secured Wi-Fi router and you wish to change to a new and stronger password.
In both the cases, you could always look up the manual or search the Internet. However, we have made this easy to understand guide that will work with ALL routers, irrespective of the company make. It is not only faster than searching the net and the manual, but also geekier! You need not worry about the terminal commands that we have provided. These are just commands that will help you on your way to gaining access to your router settings page.
Knowing the Default Gateway
Each device that has some connectivity with the Internet has a unique identity through what is called the IP address. They are much like your telephone numbers in the cellular network. However, routers have a specified IP address called the Default Gateway because it is through your Wi-Fi router that the connection comes from (information is also sent through the gateway as well). The most common default gateway address is 192.168.1.1, which we will see in the guide below.
The guide has been divided according to the OS you use: Windows, Linux (Ubuntu) and Mac. These require just a simple button combination to access the Terminal and type the command. You need not understand what the command does in a detailed manner as well to do this.
- Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo ( ) + R key.
2. In the dialog box type cmd as shown. This opens the Command Prompt. Now simply type ipconfig and the IP address beside the Default Gateway address is your required IP address to your router settings.
My apologies for not being able to provide the screenshot of the terminal. I will provide an output as an example using written text instead. Infact the best way is to follow the instructions while reading this.
- Press and hold the Ctrl+Alt+T keys to open the terminal
- Type the following command into the console route -n. This will return the output as follows:
The Gateway IP address with the 0.0.0.0 destingation and the UG flag is your default gateway address.
- Go to Applications → Utilities → Terminal, as shown in the picture.
- Type the following: netstat -nr | grep ‘default’. The output will be as follows:
As shown in all of the examples, the default gateway is 192.168.1.1 (this may not be the case for everyone).
Editing your Wi-Fi password
Once you get to know the IP address, open up your browser and type that into the address box. This will open up a dialog box asking for username and password. This should have been mentioned by the ISP during setup, but the general value would be admin and password.
After pressing Log In, the browser will show your router’s settings page. This may not look the same for everyone and differs generally as the appearance varies from one router manufacturer to another. The password settings can be found under Wireless settings as shown here. If it is empty then anyone can easily access. Enter the desired password and press Apply. You need to apply this password when any device wants to connect to your Wi-Fi. Be careful not to edit unknown settings as this can disconnect you from the internet.
Hopefully this guide has been as useful as much as it has been informative. Feel free to post any queries that you might have relating to this in the comments below.