Your New Router
First things first: Change default settings.
New Router? Change default settings.
Protecting your network at home or at your organization begins with the basics: Change your router's default settings. Why? Because all of your network traffic flows through your router and it often comes with generic defaults that can be guessed with little effort. This is the first line of security for your network: Invest the time and reap the rewards!
Connect your router to the internet.
No matter where you got the router, you can find the details for your specific hardware by looking up the router model instructions on the brand site. Generally, it involves connecting your router to your modem (if they are separate), then plugging it into a power source.
Locate the default settings.
These are usually listed on a sticker on the back or bottom of your router, but may be on the manual, box, or other materials the manufacturer provided. Default settings include the following:
- IP address: Four numbers separated by periods. (e.g. 192.168.1.1) It will help you sign in to a place where you can modify the other defaults on this list.
- SSID: The name of your network as it came from the factory. This is usually the only unique identifier of the five defaults we will discuss today. You may want to change this to make your life more convenient.
- Network key/WiFi password: This is the default password a user needs to sign on to your network through this device. Changing this provides security for your network and ensures only approved individuals can access the internet through it.
- Username/Login: The login to make authorized changes on this router. This can and should be changed since bad guys wanting to take control will immediately try defaults such as a blank field, admin, and username. Without the username and password combo, hacking your network will take much more effort.
- Password: The password to make authorized changes on your device. If you change one default, please make it this one. This is vital for maintaining control over your network. If an unauthorized user changes this before you do, they can lock you out instead of the other way around.
PS: Lists of default username and password combinations are available online in case either your combination was rubbed off the sticker or you thought your combination was hard to guess.
Connect a computer or mobile device to your internet through your router.
This is usually facilitated by a router’s Universal Plug and Play function. We will discuss more about that later. For now, just open up your Wi-Fi connection options and look for your router’s SSID.
Open a browser window and type in the IP address in the url bar up at the top.
Log in with your User Name and Password.
Take these directly from the materials the manufacturer provided. Here, you can change all of the defaults listed above. Remember to pick something unique for the SSID, but without personal information like names, birth dates, or addresses. It will be visible to the public. As for the passwords, consider using a strong password that follows the pointers on our blog. Make sure to keep these pieces of information in a safe place like a password manager because restoring them once lost can be a hassle.
A setting worth noting: UPnP.
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is the feature on a router that allows it to connect to your internet and other devices without authentication. Disabling it allows you to control when and how your router makes connections. Check out our Blog Byte on the topic for more info.
Can Frontline help?
Frontline Technology does not typically serve residences. However, our team would be happy to help you configure and manage your organization’s network. We can handle all of the settings, changes, updates, and monitoring—far beyond the first things mentioned here.
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Frontline Technology is one of the only ministry-focused IT companies that is led by pastors and ministry leaders.