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A Password for Every Router

Question : Everyone always says to change the password on your home wireless router from the default one. Why is this, and how do I change my password when the router is already up and running?

Answer : What you are asking about is different from the password you have undoubtedly set up for your wireless network to keep just anybody from using your bandwidth. (Those are the ones displayed by your computer when you ask it to find available wireless networks).

Wireless routers, whether they are made by Linksys, Netgear, Apple, D-Link or any number of small manufacturers, come with a default user name and password intended to protect the router’s settings from others who may be connected to it. Changing your router password is recommended because the default passwords are quite well known — and all over the Web. Just check out sites like www.phenoelit-us.org/dpl/dpl.html and www.routerpasswords.com.

In theory, anyone within range of your network’s signal with a computer and bad intentions could use that information to take over your router and redirect your Web traffic to identity-theft sites or burrow into your home network.

To change your router’s password, check its manual for the specific steps. If you threw out your paper version, just about all router makers have copies on their Web sites. Generally speaking, when you installed the router’s software, you probably deposited a configuration program on your hard drive that you can use to change the password.

Some routers also offer a browser-based configuration page that you can get to by typing an Internet Protocol address like “” in the address bar. Once you locate the configuration program or page, look for the administration or password settings; you’ll probably need to enter the default user name and password first to give the router a new one.


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A Password for Every Router

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