How to Log In to Your Router
Access your router’s settings with this simple guide.
Accessing your router’s settings may seem daunting and highly technical, but logging in to your router is actually a simple process. We’ll walk you through each step so you’ll be switching up your network settings, changing Wi-Fi passwords, and updating your firmware in no time.
If you’re logging in to your router to troubleshoot speed issues, take an internet speed test first. That way you’ll know your baseline and can compare results as you tweak your settings.
1. Connect to your router
You can connect to your router in two ways: wirelessly or using an Ethernet cable. If you’re using your home internet right now, then you’re already connected to your router.
2. Get your router’s default IP address
This is the most technical step in this whole process, but it’s not complicated. The good news is that you may have what you need already printed right on the router. For instance, Linksys provides a simple web address—linksysmartwifi.com—on the bottom of its routers. Just type that into a web browser, and you’re good to go.
If the router’s IP address or URL isn’t printed on the router, then you’ll need to get your hands dirty. The easiest way is to search “[router model] default IP” in a search engine. If you come up empty-handed, you can obtain the address through your device’s operating system, as we will outline below.
Routers have two IP addresses. Your internet modem assigns a “public” address to your router, called the Wide Area Network interface (WAN). The second is a “private” address facing your home network, called the Local Area Network interface (LAN). The “private” address is what you need to access the router’s settings.
Find your router’s IP address in Windows
Step 1: Right-click on the Start button and select Windows PowerShell on the Power User Menu.
Step 2: The Windows PowerShell window appears on your screen. Type “ipconfig” and press the Enter key.
Step 3: Write down the number displayed next to Default Gateway. That is the private IP address you need to access the router’s settings.
Find your router’s IP address in MacOS Big Sur
Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner and choose System Preferences. Alternatively, click on the System Preferences icon located on the Dock (if available).
Step 2: Select Network.
Step 3: Select your network listed on the left—Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Step 4: Click on the Advanced button.
Step 5: Select the TCP/IP tab.
Step 6: Write down the number displayed next to Router. That is the private IP address you need to access the router’s settings.
Find your router’s IP address on Android
These instructions apply to stock Android 11, although we add steps for Samsung phones. These instructions may be slightly different on Android devices from HTC, Lenovo, and 16 other smartphone and tablet manufacturers.
Step 1: Swipe a finger down from the top to expand the Notification Shade and tap the Cog icon.
Step 2: With the Settings panel open, tap Network & Internet. On Samsung phones, tap Connections instead.
Step 3: Tap Wi-Fi.
Step 4: Tap on the Cog icon listed next to your network.
On Samsung phones, skip to Step 6.
Step 5: Tap Advanced and write down the number listed under Gateway. That is the private IP address you need to access the router’s settings.
Step 6: Tap Manage Router and select a web browser.
Step 7: Write down the number displayed in the address bar. That is the private IP address you need to access the router’s settings.
Find your router’s IP address on iOS and iPadOS
Step 1: Tap to open the Settings app.
Step 2: Tap Wi-Fi.
Step 3: Tap on your network.
Step 4: Write down the number displayed next to Router. That is the private IP address you need to access the router’s settings.
3. Log in using a web browser
Now that you have the router’s IP address, open any web browser and type (or paste) the IP address into the address bar. Your router’s login panel will then load within the browser window.
If this is your first time, you’ll need the router’s default login credentials. You can find this information in your router’s user manual, printed on a label stuck to the device, or by searching the internet.
Try this first to see if you can gain access:
User name: admin
Many routers use this combo as the default username and password, so it’s worth a go if you don’t know your login info off the top of your head. Just remember to change it to something more challenging to guess once you’re in.
If you previously set a custom username or password and can’t recover them, hard reset your router—holding down the recessed Reset button for about 10 seconds should do the trick. After that, you can use the default login credentials. Keep in mind that a hard reset will reset your Wi-Fi network and password as well.
Author - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.
Editor - Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.