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The Tip of the Night for February 9, 2018, discussed how you can easily look up the default password for a router. After receiving a new router, it is imperative that the default password be changed. In order to do this, in a web browser enter the IP address associated with the router, and access your account using the default user name and password. In order to find this IP address, in command prompt enter: ipconfig
At the end of the data generated by this command will be an IP address listed as the default gateway. This is the address of the site where your router's password can be reset.
Often the default password for a router will be printed on the back of the router. Obviously leaving your password set to this is not wise. If someone gains control of your router, they can execute a pharming attack. A pharming attack will re-direct your internet traffic to a different DNS server (domain name server) that will translate web address names into the IP addresses of sites set up for malicious purposes.
It is possible to have a computer direct traffic directly to a DNS, rather than through a router, and thus avoid the problems which come from having a compromised router. Note that the router password is different from a wifi password. A home network, or local work network should have one of each.