A few years ago, I set up a wireless network in our house, gave it a name and protected it with a password. I’m really not quite sure how I did it – essentially, I followed the SW package that came with it, and after a lot of errors, it worked, and has continued to do so quite well.
Since that time, though, we’ve changed computers and I don’t have any way to manage/change options on the network. For example, I think it’s a good time to change the password. What is available for me to identify the network and to implement changes?
I know so little about this it’s amazing that I have a job in IT.
Wireless network routers all have internal webpages, where you can modify the settings on the router (including the wireless password.) You can access this thru any browser, but you'll need
- the IP address of the wireless router - the password to log into the admin controls (which is usually different from the general wireless password.)
If you can find the brand and model number of the router, you can usually just google "[model brand number] default ip address" and "[model brand number] default password" and what you'll find there will work most of the time. Googling for a manual always helps too.
It is possible to change both the IP address and admin password during the setup. The IP address is easy to find if you can connect any computer to the network - it's the "Default Gateway" address in your network settings (getting there depends on what you're using. If you've changed the admin password and can't remember it, that's a bit more of a problem. Many routers have recessed pin buttons that allow you to reset all the information on the router and return it to how it was coming out of the box. That means the default password (and IP address) will be back, but any and all settings to connect to your internet service and your home network will have been wiped out. Make sure you have plenty of time to get things back running if you try that.
Okay, so I'm thinking about finally updating my old laptop (Windows ME doesn't really do it for me anymore, y'know?) and I want to cash in on some bargains while the promise - threat? - of Vista brings down the prices on machines currently running XP ......