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Fixing the "Bad Administrator Password" problem (D-Link / DWR-116)

Note: If you cannot fix the problem after you follow these instructions, maybe we can help. Get help from RouterCheck Support.


Understanding the "Bad Administrator Password" problem

The administrator password protects your router from unauthorized people accessing its functions. A poorly chosen password facilitates hackers around the world compromising your router and home network. Compromised routers expose all the computers in the home to further attacks, which puts your sensitive data at risk.

Unfortunately, many people never change their router's default administrator password, which makes it quite easy for hackers to break in. There are even websites where you can look up the default password for any given router model. This is why it's so important to use a strong password.

If RouterCheck has determined that you have a bad administrator password, it means that either you have not changed the default password, or you have chosen a very common password that is easy to guess. In either case, we recommend changing the password immediately.


What is the risk of not fixing this problem?

A poorly chosen router password is always a major concern. Many people have a false sense of security because they feel that their home network is not accessible by hackers over the internet. While this may be true, it certainly doesn't mean that your router's administrator password is beyond attack.

Hackers routinely use viruses on computers within the home network to try and break into that network's router. They can also use a CSRF (Cross-site request forgery) attack that uses infected web pages to take advantage of some router vulnerabilities. The bottom line is that your router's administrator password is very important and should not be set to a default or easily guessed value.

Vendor Documentation

Often, it's a good idea to look through the router's documentation to learn how to fix problems. Go to the vendor's support site where you can download documentation.

How to fix the "Bad Administrator Password" problem

Step 1: Log into your router

You use a web browser to interact with your router and fix its configuration problems. However, before you can interact with your browser, you must log into it. RouterCheck can give you detailed instructions for logging in to your router.

Step 2: If you log in successfully, your router's home page opens.

Step 3: Navigate to the Administrator page.

Find the page with the administrator settings. The page name may be similar to:

  • Administrator
  • Administration
  • Administrator Settings

Navigate to this page by clicking the appropriate menu items and buttons.

Step 4: If you are successful, your router's Administrator page opens.

Step 5: Choose a new password.

Choosing a new password is a very important step. It guards your router and home network from intruders.

Do not use a common password such as "password" or "qwerty". Choose something that's a bit uncommon, yet still memorable to you. Your network's security depends on this.

Step 6: Change the password.

Step 1: Look for a place to type in your new password - perhaps a box called "New Password".

Step 2: If necessary, type the same password into another box called "Retype New Password".

Step 3: Click the "Apply" button.

Step 7: Remember your new password.

A crucial part of setting your password is remembering your password. A router is not a typical website that will reset your password for you or send you hints if you forget it. If you forget your router's administrator password, the only way you can access your router is by resetting your router to its factory default settings. This lets you back into the router, but it overwrites all your router customizations (like setting up the WiFi security). You must redo these settings.

If necessary, you can write down your router's password. However:

  • Keep what you've written down away from prying eyes.
  • Remember where you've written this down! Writing something down doesn't help if you can't find where you've put it.

Alternatively, you can store your password in a password manager. Not only can the password manager help you by creating the password for you, but it will securely store the password for you, and you won’t have to search for that bit of paper. And, in all likelihood, your password manager will log into your WiFi admin page for you. If you're considering using a password manager, we recommend using Sticky Password.

Step 8: Re-run RouterCheck.

Now that you've fixed your problem, run RouterCheck again to verify that you have really fixed the problem.

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