Losing login credentials to web accounts and tools is common unless it’s a router device that can’t be retrieved easily. This could get more complicated because signing in to a router is a one-time task performed during initial configuration. Therefore, most of us are prone to forgetting the details unless they have been stored on a physical medium such as a paper.

While calling up your support service is, in fact, the safest of all solutions you can think of, attempting basic troubleshooting is wiser. If you haven’t, try accessing your router’s configuration admin panel using default IP Address 192.168.1.1 and sign-in using ‘admin’ as the password. If this doesn’t work in one attempt, stop! Remember! Your IP could be blocked for multiple failed attempts.

Try the below methods first before coming back to the guessing game.

Check for the bottom of the router device

Modern-day router manufacturers provide a default username/password to access the router configuration which is available at the bottom of the device. If works, you need not go through the below hacks unless you wish to seek knowledge for future reference. You must also consult your router support service or the ISP that has provided you the device. If that doesn’t work or is taking too long, attempt the following.


Locate the configuration file

Most routers, while initial configuration allows taking a backup of the settings and exports the information to a configuration file. The file that is saved on the local hard drive includes the encrypted password and you may need a third-party tool to decrypt it. Furthermore, brands have exclusive default names to these configuration files such as user.conf for Belkin while D-link routers save the file as backupsettings.conf.

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Ask your support service for the name of the file and an appropriate tool that must be used to decrypt the password. This should be straight.

Dictionary Attack 

Decoding the password using a dictionary attack is yet another method to crack the router’s login credentials. A tool that based on an inbuilt dictionary of possible router default passwords is used to attempt a login using a local network. The file, known as the password file (passlits.txt) consists of the most commonly used common password names.

However, this approach as limitations attached. Firstly, if the router has brute force protection enable that disables your IP after a few failed logins, the method may not work. Secondly, the method won’t work if you have manually set the password whose text means something exclusively personal.

Furthermore, to keep hacking attempts in check, dictionary attacks only target default passwords that mots routers have.

Hard Reset to factory settings

And if nothing works, the only choice you are left with is resetting the router configuration to factory settings. Although entirely secure, the method is avoided (and suggested at the last here) because resetting will require configuring the router settings from scratch and it isn’t simple. Using the default IP address 192.168.1.1 for accessing the routeryou can access the admin panel section to start with the configuration process. This will include the firewall settings; login credentials resetting, Dynamic DNS settings, Port forwarding, MAC address and finally, the ISP username & password.

How to hard reset the router? 

And if nothing works, the only choice you are left with is resetting the router configuration to factory settings. Although entirely secure, the method is avoided (and suggested at the last here) because resetting will require configuring the router settings from scratch and it isn’t simple. Using the default IP address 192.168.1.1 for accessing the router, you can access the admin panel section to start with the configuration process. This will include the firewall settings; login credentials resetting, Dynamic DNS settings, Port forwarding, MAC address and finally, the ISP username & password.

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Bonus Tip

Although a hard reset or calling up your ISPs is the ultimate solution, in case that isn’t the most optimal way for the moment, explore online dictionaries that have a list of possible default passwords as per different brands. However, after a few failed attempts, your IP could be blocked and waiting for the ISP to interfere is the only choice left.

As a token of advice, always replace the default password to a string that has a literal meaning related to you.

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