When you purchase a Linksys router (now belonging to the Cisco Home routers division), the device will automatically be set to use one of two default passwords: it will either be set to no password protection (not typically the case), or it will be automatically configured to use the word "password" as your actual password. Since this is the bestselling brand of routers, hackers (or pranksters) will very easily first try to hack into your router by entering either a blank password, or the word "password" itself. So the first thing you should do once you have plugged in your Linksys router, is to update its credentials right away.
How do I change my router password / Linksys password?
Follow these steps to change your Linksys router password from a web browser:
- Start by opening your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.) Once in front of the browser window, type this "IP address" (just a numerical internet address) inside the address bar, visible at the top of the web browser window: "192.168.1.1" - unless your system administrator configured your (wireless) network differently, it will always be the same IP.
- Then, hit Enter if you are using Windows or Linux (or hit Return on Mac OS X), and your web browser will open a popup dialog containing two text fields: "User Name" and "Password". You do not need to enter any user name, so just leave that field blank; in the next field, type "password" as your user account password for the router, and hit Enter / Return.
- Tip: if you received an authentication error message or the same "Windows Security" dialog popup, this means that you entered an incorrect password - try to re-enter the same thing (to eliminate the possibility of typos), and hit Enter / Return. If that doesn't work either, try leaving both user name and password fields blank; finally, if this doesn't let you access your router, someone in your household or company has most probably changed the default password - check with them to obtain that information.
- Once you have entered your credentials, your web browser will redirect you to the main configuration screen in your router's "Control Panel". To change your router's password, click on the "Administration" link on the right of the main navigation bar, as shown below:
- The "Router Password" sub-page will now load, and display at the top a couple of password fields, pre-filled with the current password. Click inside the first of these two fields, erase its current value, and type inside it the new password you want to use. To the same for the next field; this is designed to avoid typos, since you cannot see the characters you are typing:
- Note that these screenshots were taken with the Cisco Linksys wireless broadband line of routers, and depending on which router model you actually have, and if you have updated to the latest "firmware", you may see something a bit different.
- Once you have changed and retyped your router password, click on the "Save Settings" button at the bottom of that screen. To keep your current password without changing it, click on the "Cancel Changes" button instead, or just close the browser window.
- Your Cisco / Linksys router will then display a confirmation screen, and redirect you back within a few seconds. You are done changing your router password!
Remember that this new setting takes effect immediately: in other words, make sure to start using the new password right away, and let anyone applicable know that they need to use new credentials to access the router's Control Panel. And as a final note, this will not affect in any way your "wireless network password" (or "security key"), which remains the same as before.
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