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How to Change Your Wi-Fi Router Name and Password

How to Change Your Wi-Fi Router Name and Password

The need to protect one's wireless internet connection from hackers, phishers, and freeloaders, is even greater in this enterprising world full of evil geniuses. By following this step-by-step suggestions, you can now change your Wi-Fi router name and password by yourself, and stay safe.
Padmini Krishna
Last Updated: May 11, 2018
Need to Change Your Wi-Fi Router's Password
The password on your Wi-Fi router keeps your Wi-Fi internet connection secure, and wards off unauthorized freeloaders and hackers. If you have never changed your Wi-Fi router's password, and it still uses the default values that the manufacturer has configured onto it, then your connection is not secure. Anyone knowing which router brand and model you are using can look up the default password on the internet, where it is readily available, and easily hack into your internet connection.
What is a Wi-Fi Router ?
Wi-Fi routers are wonderful devices that allow you to connect multiple devices, such as your smartphone, laptop, tablet etc to the high-speed internet connection that you have subscribed to, without using any physical cables. All you need to do is enter a password (and in the case of some types of connections, or router brands, a username is required too,) one time, and your devices will be connected to the internet over your Wi-Fi connection whenever it's "within the range" of the router.
Difference Between Wi-Fi Router and Wi-Fi Modem
The difference between a Wi-Fi router and a Wi-Fi modem is a frequently pondered-about matter. Actually, a Wi-Fi router is used for large networks (like to provide Wi-Fi internet in an office, or at a university campus), and can even interconnect various networks, just like a generic router, whereas, a Wi-Fi modem is used to extend the wireless internet connectivity provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) in a small-scale manner, to devices within a range. However, nowadays, the terms "router" and "modem" are used interchangeably while referring to the device that is used, although the implementation of an actual network router differs from that of a modem; apart from extending a modem's basic functionality, it can also be used to provide security to the network in question.
Nevertheless, the concept of Wi-Fi makes life a lot easier, especially when we are referring to connecting to the internet from home, until the cumbersome task of configuring the various hardware devices involved raises its ugly head. But do not worry, we will tell you how to carry it out in seven simple steps. Irrespective of the brand or type of wireless router you use, be it Cisco, Linksys, ASUS, D-Link, Belkin, or any other, and also of the ISP to whom you have subscribed for your connection, the basic steps to be followed do not differ.
Step 1
Connect any device (such as your laptop) to this password-protected network so that you will be able to log in to the Wi-Fi router as the administrator.

Do not fret if you have forgotten the password in the first place, and that is why you are trying to change it. Connecting your laptop to your Wi-Fi router physically, using an Ethernet cable does away with the need to enter any pre-configured password while connecting to the network.
Step 2
Once you have successfully connected your device to your Wi-Fi router, the next thing you need to obtain is the IP address of the router.
  • If you do not know what it is, open the command line interface on your system (if you are using Windows, open the Start Menu, and type "cmd" in the Search Box to open a black window. If you are using an Apple laptop, open Terminal, which is a white window, that can be found in the Utilities tab of your Applications folder).
  • Type "ipconfig".
  • The address listed against the field 'Default Gateway' is the IP address of your router.
Step 3
Open any web browser on your laptop and type your router's IP address (your network's default gateway address) in the address box (where you generally type the URL of the website you wish to open).
Step 4
You now need to enter your Wi-Fi router's username and password.
  • Suppose you have never changed your username and password since the day you bought the router, the default values will still be configured on it.
  • You can refer to the User Manual of your router, or otherwise, visit http://www.routerpasswords.com/ and search for the default values corresponding to your router's make, and model.
  • In case you have changed the username and password in the past and cannot recall it now, don't worry. You can factory-reset your router's configurations so that it will revert to its default values. This can be done by pressing and holding the reset button located at the back of your Wi-Fi router,
    for a maximum of 30 seconds.
Step 5
As a result of logging into your Wi-Fi router as the administrator, you now have access to all the settings of your network. You now need to navigate to the Wireless Security Settings tab or page.
  • The format and wording may differ from router brand to brand; however, you can be assured that you have reached the right page if it contains information about your encryption type (WEP, WPA or WPA2), and your shared key (better known as password), which will have some preset value. On this page, you can change it.
  • Always make sure you are using WPA, or WPA2 type encryption. WEP is as good as obsolete now, and it is not a very efficient method to keep your network secure, as it can be easily hacked.
  • Choose a strong password; avoid using your date of birth or your telephone number, they are very obvious. A pass-phrase of at least 8 characters, which is a good mix of capital letters, small letters, numbers, and special characters (&, $, etc.), is more difficult to crack.
Step 6
You can also change your network name. Either the tab you have currently opened, or if you have navigated to this tab via a Basic Settings page, then on the respective tab, you will find a label called SSID (Service Set Identifier) with some value against it. This is the same as your network name, and its value can and must be changed.
  • It is advised to make your SSID (in other words, your network name) as cryptic as possible, revealing little or no information about yourself, the make of your router, and the ISP you subscribe to, because names like those are likely to attract hackers' attention first. A random collection of characters is the ideal network name.
Step 7
Last but not the least, save all the changes you made by clicking on the 'Apply Changes' button.
Helpful Tips
  1. Some routers come with their own interface software for configuration and troubleshooting. This software can be used as an alternative to using one's browser to log in to the router.
  2. If your laptop does not recognize your Wi-Fi router at all, check your Ethernet cable. Remove the cable and connect it once again. Also, try restarting both your laptop and the router.
  3. A good way to prevent unauthorized users from breaking into your network, or maybe even changing your password without your knowledge, is to disable the feature that permits devices to log into the router as the administrator, unless they are physically connected to it, using an Ethernet cable.
So, as you can see, it is quite easy to protect your Wi-Fi network; you can change the name, and the password of your wireless network at your home, even without prior experience, and without needing to consult a professional, by following our suggestions. Keep calm, stay secure, and change your Wi-Fi password right away!