In the most typical setup, your hardware router will be located somewhere between your PC and your broadband modem. Most users now opt for router models that include an integrated 4-port switch, but others may have devices (the router and their PCs) connected to a separate hub or switch. By default, most hardware routers will ship with a preconfigured IP address like 192.168.1.1 (check the guide that came with yours) and will be set up to allocate IP addresses to client systems automatically via DHCP.
Because of the default setup, you’ll need your PC’s network card configured correctly in order to connect to the router’s administrative interface. In most cases, accessing your network card’s TCP/IP properties and setting it to obtain an IP address automatically will suffice. You can check and see what IP address you were allocated by issuing the ipconfig /all command. If you’re address comes up as starting with “169.254”, your system isn’t receiving an address from the router, so try the ipconfig /renew command. If you’re still out of luck, press the reset button on your router to restore it to its factory default settings, and then try again.
If your system can ping the router’s address, you’re in luck. To access its administrative interface, fire up your browser and enter the device’s IP address, for example http://192.168.1.1. You will generally be prompted to log on, so you’ll need to check your user manual for the appropriate username and password for your model. If you can’t find your manual, visit www.phenoelit.de/dpl/dpl.html. This site lists the default username and password combinations for virtually all home networking routers.