The definitive guide on everything you can do in configuring your router

The router of house … That great unknown. That white or black device (usually) that provides us with access to the network of networks, Internet. From Annex M we want to bring you today a guide that explains all the configuration possibilities of your router . Enterprise routers are basic product for any business/enterprise.The truth is that the options that our router usually offers us are many and varied and as a rule are unknown to the vast majority.

First, and most important of all, is knowing how to access it, right? Here we usually have two possibilities, that our router bring a specific software that we can install on our computer and that we have access to our router. The second possibility (the most common) is that we have to access through our web browser . For this we simply have to write in the browser’s address bar the internal IP that our router has.

The most common is that our router has the address 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 depending on the range of IP’s that has been configured . A quick way to know is to open an MS-DOS window (Start> Run> cmd.exe) and execute the IPCONFIG command inside the window, which will throw all the information corresponding to the network configuration of our computer. Among all the information that this command shows you, there is one that is “ip gateway” that will give us the exact IP address of our router.

Once we write the IP address in our browser, our router will ask us to identify ourselves. Here we must enter a username and password that gives us administrator permissions . How do we find out the password of our router? As a general rule, Internet providers such as Jazztel, Telefónica, Euskaltel or many others add a sticker on the bottom of the router that tells us all this access information. If for whatever reason it were not or we had a difficult access to the router, we can always perform an Internet search of our router model specifying that we want to know your access password. There are hundreds of forums dealing with these issues and some will throw you the correct answer.

To save you a little time, the most common username-password combinations are usually admin-admin, adminttd-adminttd, even admin-1234 or 1234-1234 . You can try your luck first with these and if we do not succeed, then carry out the search.

I’M ALREADY INSIDE MY ROUTER. NOW WHAT?

When entering our router, the most common is that we have one divided into two large sections. A central section where we show all the information, another sidebar where we have a drop-down menu from which to request all the information that we need from our router . Here we can access both pure and hard information and configuration options that will give us the possibility to define all the aspects that we want from our router.

As a general rule, we have the general information of the device in the first place. Here we can surely see all the existing configurations at that precise moment in our router . We can see a summary of our router, version, model, installed software, firmware … Information that will be very useful in case you want to update our device.

This section will also offer us various connection information, data transfer statistics, WAN connections (the Internet entry itself, to understand us) IP addresses served by the Router (and therefore all computers and devices that are connected in that precise instant to our computer) that will allow us to know at a glance if there is someone uninvited in our network (sucking Wi-Fi for example).

This first section that all routers usually have offers us the possibility of knowing at a stroke the vital information of our router without having to dive too much for their options.

WELL, LET’S GET RID OF SO MUCH THEORY, I WANT TO CONFIGURE MY ROUTER

Okay, okay … let’s go to it. The following sections that usually appear within the configuration panel of our router are usually the specific configuration elements of the device. As a general rule they are usually divided into two large sections, the LAN and Wireless . The LAN is everything related to the physical network of our computer , which “goes with cable”, the Wireless (in case our router has wireless access) would give us the configuration options of our wireless network .

Here the options are usually very even, in both cases they allow us to configure IP ranges if we want the router to give random IP addresses to all the devices or computers that connect to the network (if we use the generation of random IP addresses through Dhcp) in such a way that our router will always give addresses under the range that we indicate.

Depending on the router model we have, it will give us the option of configuring MAC addresses , parental controls, or Wan access. Each device or computer has a certain MAC address, that address is yours and it never changes it, it is your “identity document”. This way to find out the MAC addresses of our device (which we can find in the configuration panels of the device that we want to know your MAC) and enter it in the router. If we have several devices, computers, smartphones, tablets … we will tell the router that only allows access to these devices. Making sure that no external party can use our connection, because by not recognizing your MAC, the router will never give you authorization.

We can also define parental controls to these MAC addresses so that they can only access the Internet at specific times of the day and for a certain time. So we can determine when we want our children to connect or not to the Internet.

In the Wifi section we can configure network name, password for access, network for guests, maximum bandwidth allowed … The possibilities are many and varied. The only section of the router that I would advise not to touch would be the WAN section. This is the Internet connection itself, is the point that usually configures the technician who comes to your house to install Internet. Unless we have very, very clear what we are doing, I advise not to touch it, since we could lose access to the Internet.

LET’S GO A LITTLE FURTHER, THE NAT CONFIGURATIONS

This is an aspect that as a general rule we will not have to touch or if we do it will be in very specific situations and for very specific actions . The NAT configuration of a router is the configuration of entrance doors to it . A router has many ports of entry, are virtual doors that can use (or not) different services to access our network, and also so that we can go to the Internet through a specific gate for a particular service.

For example, to transfer files using the FTP protocol, computers generally use port 21, while for the transmission of ports using SFTP they use 22. Internet printing services use port 9100 and if we are regulars of online games or content streaming services are very likely to use certain ports to communicate and obtain data from external servers.

As a general rule, routers usually bring the most common open ports , so if you can not use a specific service or have a connection problem for these games, the most usual is that we have a closed port. If this happens to us, we will have to carry out an Internet search of which ports use this service and open it. For this we will have to open it in the configuration of the router (NAT section) and point it to the IP address of the computer that will use the service.

We can also configure tunnels or configure external IPs that we want to allow to connect to our network or computer externally. So, for example, if we know the external IP of a computer or server from which we want to connect to our home network, we can configure here that only that server or computer can enter our network through our router. Thus delimiting unwanted external connections and having a network a little more secure.

Then as a general rule, routers have different diagnostic tools that will give us general information about the health status of our network and the device. It will also give us the option to update your firmware if we know that the manufacturer has released a more recent version of it.

These are some of the most common options that routers usually have . Obviously each model is a world, so if we want to know more in detail the options available in our router, we must perform a search on the Internet, the manufacturer usually makes available to its users extensive manuals that will explain to us all the options offered by their devices.

Finally advise that the configuration of this type of device is very sensitive, so from Annex M we advise not to vary anything if we are not completely sure of what we are doing . Do not think that the router is going to destroy itself or something, but we can lose the Internet access configuration and stay without it until we get to restore the device.

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