Configure a router

Table of contents:

Configure a router
Configure a router

Your router is the backbone of your network. By properly configuring your router, you protect yourself from intruders, you can securely connect all your devices, and you can even make sure your kids don't see things that aren't intended for them. Follow the steps in this article to properly configure your router in minutes.


Method 1 of 4: Connecting to the router

Configure a Router Step 1

Step 1. Connect your router to your computer and modem

Use Ethernet cables to connect your modem to the WAN/WLAN/Internet port on the router and to connect your computer to port 1, 2, 3 or 4 on the router.

Configure a Router Step 2

Step 2. Open a browser

You can access your router's configuration page on any computer connected to the network. But it works best if you use a computer connected to the router with an Ethernet cable.

Configure a Router Step 3

Step 3. Enter the address of the router

You reach your router's configuration page by entering the router's IP address into the address bar of a browser. The IP address varies by brand, but most brands use approximately the same address. Here is a list of some popular brands and their IP addresses:

  • Linksys -
  • 3Com -
  • D-Link -
  • Belkin -
  • Netgear -
  • Usually you can find the IP address of a router in the user manual or sometimes on the bottom of the router. You can also search online on the manufacturer's website.
Configure a Router Step 4

Step 4. Enter your username and password

If you have never changed the settings you will now have to enter a username/password combination that is set by the manufacturer. With other routers you do not have to enter a username and password.

  • You will find the default setting for the username and password in your router's user manual. Sometimes you can find this on the bottom of the router.
  • 'admin' is the most common username.
  • 'admin' or 'password' are the most common passwords.
Configure a Router Step 5

Step 5. Reset your router if you are unable to reach the configuration page

If you've done the previous steps and still can't get to the page, reset the router so everything is back to factory defaults. This will undo all changes. This can be useful if you have purchased a second-hand router that still has the previous user's configuration set to it.

  • Reset your router by pressing the reset button. Usually this is a small button that you can only press with the end of a paperclip or something similar. Sometimes it's just a button that you can press by hand.
  • After pressing the button, wait 30-60 seconds. Then you enter the IP address of the router again in the address bar of a browser and then enter the username/password combination.
Configure a Router Step 6

Step 6. Set a new username and password

It is highly unsafe not to change the username and password as set by the factory. Change this immediately after accessing the router's configuration page. You can usually change this in the 'Administration' section.

Choose a username and password that are difficult to guess. A secure, hard-to-crack password contains numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters

Method 2 of 4: Configuring a wireless network

Configure a Router Step 7

Step 1. Check your internet settings

Check the DHCP and DNS settings of the router. these settings can usually be found under the 'Internet', 'Setup' or 'Home' menu. The setting should be 'Automatic' or something similar unless your ISP requires different router settings.

Many routers have a test button in the 'Internet' menu. Click this button to see if your internet settings are configured correctly

Configure a Router Step 8

Step 2. Open the wireless internet settings

This menu will probably be named 'Wireless', 'Wireless Settings', 'Basic Setup' or something similar. On this page you will find the settings 'SSID', 'Channel', 'Encryption' and other settings.

Configure a Router Step 9

Step 3. Give your network a name

You can do this in the field called 'SSID'. If you enter a name in this field, you will see this name in the list of available networks on your computer. Do not process personal information in the name of your network, as the name is public.

  • Make sure the checkbox next to 'Enable SSID Broadcast' is checked.
  • The channel (Channel) must be set to automatic (Auto). If there are many wireless networks in your area, this setting allows your router to switch to another channel if necessary.
Configure a Router Step 10

Step 4. Choose the wireless encryption method

This is probably called 'Wireless Encryption' or 'Security Options'. Here you can choose how the data traffic is encrypted. The options on most routers are WEP, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK.

WPA2 is the most secure encryption method, if all your devices support this method, it is best to choose it. Older devices usually do not support WPA2

Configure a Router Step 11

Step 5. Choose a key

A key or password is what you need to enter to connect to the wireless network. Choose a strong password to make it difficult to break into your network. Never leave your network active without a password, because then everyone can use it and possibly connect to all your devices via the network.

Configure a Router Step 12

Step 6. Apply the settings

Once you have given the network a name (SSID), chosen the encryption type and set a password, click the 'Apply' or 'Save' button. This will start the wireless network. The router will take a moment to process the changes and then your network will be visible on your wireless devices.

Method 3 of 4: Port Forwarding

Configure a Router Step 13

Step 1. Open the 'Port Forwarding' menu if you want to open a specific port

You can usually find this in the "Advanced" menu on the router's configuration page.

Configure a Router Step 14

Step 2. Add a new line

Click the 'Add rule' or 'Add service' button or something similar. This opens a form on which you can enter information about an open port on the router.

  • Name/Service Name – This is the name of the program for which you want to open the port. The name is only intended so that you can easily recognize it in a list.
  • Protocol – The options are TCP, UDP, and TCP/UDP. Look in the documentation of the program in question which protocol to choose.
  • External Starting Port – This is the first port in the port range you want to open.
  • External Ending Port – This is the last port of the port range you want to open. If you only want to open one port, enter the same port here as with the 'Starting Port'.
  • Check the box indicating that you want to use the same port range for the internal ports (Internal Ports), or enter the same information again.
  • Internal IP address – This is the IP address of the computer you want to open the port for.
Configure a Router Step 15

Step 3. Save the new rule

Press 'Save' or 'Apply' and wait for the changes to be saved. The program can now access the port you opened from the computer whose IP address you specified.

Method 4 of 4: Block websites

Configure a Router Step 16

Step 1. Open the 'Block Sites' menu

You can usually find this under 'Security' or 'Parental controls'. You can choose to block sites for all devices on the network, or you can block websites only for your chosen devices. You can usually also choose certain times when websites are blocked.

Configure a Router Step 17

Step 2. Add a website to the list

The options vary by router. With some routers you can block sites based on certain words (keywords), sometimes you can only block specific addresses of websites. Enter the information of the websites you want to block.

Configure a Router Step 18

Step 3. Allow certain computers to visit the blocked pages

You can specify IP addresses of the computers that you want to allow access to the blocked websites.

This can be useful if you don't want certain websites to be reachable on your kids' devices

Configure a Router Step 19

Step 4. Set a blocking schedule

You will probably find this in a submenu. Usually you can select certain days of the week or times of the day when the websites are blocked. When you're done, press the 'Save' button.

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