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Your router is a fundamental part of your internet connection. You can typically configure settings, but you first need to know its local IP address.

I lost the IP address of my router. How do I find the address that allows me to configure the router?

Most routers work on one of a couple of different IP addresses. Rather than just show you those two, I'll show you how to determine your router's most likely IP address.

It's not a 100% solution, but it's pretty darned close.

Start with your PC's configuration

I'm going to assume that you have a working network and are connected through the router that we're talking about.

Start a Windows Command Prompt; typically, you can open this by clicking in All Programs, Accessories. Or you can click the Start button, click Run (or type Windows key + R) and type "cmd", and click OK.

You'll be presented with a new window, much like this:

Windows Command Prompt

In the Command Prompt window, type the following:

ipconfig

Follow by hitting the Enter key.

You'll end up with information that looks much like this:

Windows IP Configuration


Ethernet adapter Bluetooth Network Connection:

   Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::601f:2c7:9844:4af1%12
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.154
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

   Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

Depending on your computer's configuration, you may need to use the scroll bar in the Command Prompt window to scroll up and down to see it all.

The line that we're interested in is this one:

Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 192.168.1.1

In advanced configurations, you may have more than one, but the IP addresses would be different. In order of preference, you want the 192.168.x.x address, an address in the range 172.16.x.x through 172.31.x.x, the 10.x.x.x address, or lastly, the 5.x.x.x address. Most commonly, it'll be a 192.168.x.x address.

In fact, it's very likely that it'll be either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1.

Regardless, you are looking specifically for the Default Gateway address - the one that data is routed to first when its final destination is a remote network, like the internet.

In all likelihood, this is the IP address of your router.

Accessing your router

Most routers now use a web-like interface for configuration, making them easy to access with any web browser once you know the IP address.

Enter "http://" followed by the IP address that you discovered above into your browser:

Router prompting for a username and password

As you can see in the example above, doing so causes the router to prompt for a username and password. The default settings will vary based on what router you have; for security reasons, you will hopefully have specified your own password at some point in the past.

If that doesn't work

There's nothing that says that the router must be the default gateway - it just usually is.

The next thing that I would try would be to look at your computer's IP address ("IPv4 Address" in the ipconfig output above) and the Default Gateway address and then replace the third and fourth numbers with 0 or 1. For example, if my IP address were 192.168.1.154, I would try:

  • 192.168.0.1
  • 192.168.1.0
  • 192.168.1.1

(192.168.0.0 is technically an illegal device address.)

Failing that...

Well, I'd break down and finally read the manual for the router to see what its default address should be. (In some cases, this is even printed on the underside of the router.)

Article C4817 - May 12, 2011 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

5 Comments
Ken B
May 13, 2011 11:00 AM

Another option is "traceroute" ("tracert" on Windows), which will show you the IP addresses of all the computers/routers from your system to the destination. It's possible that the actual router that connects your LAN to the Internet isn't the first hop from your computer. (For example, some router within the office, which splits the LAN into separate sections, as is the case here.)

c:\>tracert ask-leo.com

Tracing route to ask-leo.com [67.225.235.59]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 2 ms 2 ms 2 ms KENB2 [elided]
2 3 ms 3 ms 2 ms Wireless_Broadband_Router.home [192.168.1.1]
3 8 ms 6 ms 6 ms elided.verizon-gni.net [71.245.
...

Yes, it's still 192.168.1.1 in my case, but it's not the first hop, nor is it the default gateway. If this is the case for you, you may just need to try the second hop's IP address, rather than the first.

Of course, "your mileage may vary".

Tom T
May 17, 2011 9:15 AM

You could also try entering "www.routerlogin.com" in your browser's address / navigation area. It works for Netgear routers. Might work for other brands too.

James Hillier
May 17, 2011 1:57 PM

Just to add: An elevated command prompt might be required to run ipconfig, it is in Windows 7:

Right click Command Prompt and select 'Run as administrator'.

Tim M
May 17, 2011 5:08 PM

Don't be surprised if you see an address like 10.1.1.1. Apple routers tend to use 10.0.1.1, many Belkin and D-Link ones use 10.1.1.1.
The whole range from 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255 is available as private address space.

John A.
May 18, 2011 7:15 AM

I'm confused, what 'Ask Leo' appears to be saying is that everybody on the internet has, essentially the same IP address ?? Is this true ?

Not at all. Your computers may all have similar addresses on your local network, but on the other side of the router, connecting to the internet, you all have a different one. Have a peek at this article: Why doesn't my machine's IP address match what I'm told on the internet?
Leo
19-May-2011

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