Need help?

How to Set Up a Netgear Router

Authored by: Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.


A router is a box that allows multiple computers, smartphones, and so on to join the same network. From there, the router is typically connected to a modem in order to provide an Internet connection to any device that is connected to the router. This guide aims to help you through the first time setup process for your router.

In the box you may have some of the following:

  • The router's power supply or charger.
  • Device manual.
  • Driver disc (for some models).
  • USB cable (for some models).
  • Network cable (for some models).

1 Connect Power

Please ensure that you are using the power adapter that came with your router.

  1. Locate the power cable and connect it to a power source like an outlet or surge protector.
  2. Plug the other end of the power cable to the router's power input, which is typically located in the rear.Unplug power cable from rear of router, then plug it back in.
  3. Your router should power on.

2 Connect to Modem by Cable/Wire

Your router must be connected to a modem in order to provide the local network with an Internet connection.
  1. Acquire an Ethernet cable.
    Ethernet cable.

  2. Take one end of the cable and plug it into the Internet (or WAN) port on the rear of your router. The port may be blue or grey.
    Router Internet port.

  3. Take one end of the cable and plug it into an available Ethernet (or LAN) port on the rear of your modem. These ports are typically yellow.
    Modem Ethernet ports.

  4. Usually this is all that is needed to connect your router to a wired connection.

3 Netgear

  1. The bottom of the router has a label with the default access site and credentials.
    Netgear label. Default Access, user name is admin, password is password.

  2. Using a computer that is connected to the Netgear router, open a web browser (such as Safari, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer).
  3. Navigate to
    • If the above does not work, try:
  4. Enter the router username and password.

    The default credentials are typically:

    • Username: admin
    • Password: password

4 Select Password

Wherever possible, you should pick a password that is impossible to guess and is also resistant to brute-force attacks.

Some devices or systems do not allow special characters or they may have their own requirements.

Password Dos and Don'ts

Green Check
  • Passwords should be long, 8-12 characters or more.
  • Passwords should be something easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess or lookup.
  • Passwords should have lots of different character types: upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Replacing letters with symbols is a simple way to achieve this: use @ for a, and ( for c, as example.
  • Passwords are personal, most services have a way to create a 'linked' account or share services with trusted friends and family.
  • Change passwords regularly. Every 90 to 180 days; this helps keep your accounts from being compromised long-term.
  • If you must write down a password or make note of it, do so only in specially designed programs, or keep and hold the physical copies with the same care and respect you would a social security card or birth certificate. Remember; anyone with your password "is you".
Example of a good password
Red X
  • Don't use short passwords; computers can guess them very easily.
  • Don't use a common word you can find in a dictionary.
  • Don't use information that can be looked up or guessed, such as a birthday, anniversary, or pet's name.
  • Don't use the same password for everything. If one password is compromised, all of the same ones are compromised across all your accounts.
  • Don't share passwords. People with your password "are you" to a computer system, or a service.
  • Don't keep the same password forever. Assume that, at some point, it will be guessed, seen, or otherwise compromised, and it must be changed.
  • Don't write down passwords in the open, or save them in non-encrypted files on your computer.
Example of a bad password
Password Resources

5 Change Network Password

  1. Select Wireless. For an older router, the option may be called Wireless Settings.
    Menu with Wireless option selected. Screenshot.

  2. If you wish, you may change your network name (SSID) at this time. This is the user-friendly name that will appear when you search for wireless networks in the area.
    Network name input. Screenshot.

  3. Under Security Options, select WPA2-PSK[AES].
    Security options with WPA2-PSK AES selected. Screenshot.

  4. Type in your chosen password into the Password field.
    Password or Network Key field. Screenshot.

  5. Take note of your network name (SSID) and password as you will need them to connect your devices to your Wi-Fi network.
  6. Select Apply to save the new settings.

  7. Your wireless security settings have now been updated.
    • Any time you change your wireless security settings you will need to reconnect your wireless devices.
    • If your router is dual-band, meaning it has a 2.4 and a 5 GHz network you may need to repeat the steps listed above for each network because each network may be controlled individually. You must use different network names for each band.
    • If your router has a guest network you will need to repeat the steps listed above for the guest network because it is controlled separately.

6 Keeping Your Password Secure

Some precautions should be taken in order to keep your password secure.

Best practices:

  • Do not use a master password that you use everywhere (such as email, work, school, home, network)
  • If possible, do not share your password with anybody.
  • Passwords that are shared with others, like for a home network, should only be shared if necessary.
  • Be aware when typing your password in public, or that in no way anyone is watching.
  • Some types of electronic devices like computers and smartphones can remember passwords, so beware of devices that are not yours.
  • Make a schedule of when to change your password. For example, every 180 days.
  • It is not recommended to write down passwords. But if you have to, make sure that it is neither physically nor visually accessible by others.

7 Deciding to Update

Router updates are provided to add new security features, fix vulnerabilities, or other enhancements like performance upgrades. We recommend updating your router at this time in order to get the best possible security. Depending on the model, you may need an internet connection, access to a computer, and a formatted USB flash drive in order to update.

You may update now or do so another time.

? Do you want to update now or later?

  1. Now
  2. Later

We're here to help!

Connect to a Tech Pro

Call or chat with a Tech Pro 24/7.