In this article we will explore how to login to Netgear routers, which most people use in their home WIFI networks. We will talk about what a router is and does, and why you might need to login to one. We will discuss setting up your Netgear router and connecting it to the internet. And we will tell you how to login to Netgear routers, including instructions for Windows and Macs.
Why Do I Need A Router?
What Is A Router?
A router is a device, usually contained in a small plastic box, that enables the creation of a LAN, or a local area network. A wireless router, which most people have for their home networks, uses the WI-FI networking protocol to wirelessly connect WI-FI-capable devices to the router.
These WI-FI-capable devices include:
- Personal computers
- Tablet computers
- Gaming consoles
- Mobile devices such as smartphones
- Smart devices such as smart TVs
While the router creates the network that enables multiple devices on a LAN to send and receive data on the network, it does not by itself provide an internet connection.
For that, you will generally need something called a “modem.”
What Is The Difference Between A Router And A Modem?
For most people, their modem will come in the form of a cable, basically the same coaxial cable through which they might get other signals like cable television, connected to another plastic box.
Other users will have modems connected to DSL lines, or telephone lines. However you get the signal to the modem, cable or DSL, when the internet signal arrives from your ISP (internet service provider) at your modem, usually you can send that signal from the modem to other devices only through more cables, for example through ethernet cables.
Often the cable ports on a modem are limited to one or two outlets and so this is not very useful if you wish to connect a lot of devices in your home or office to the internet.
This is where the router comes in.
Now, let’s talk for a moment about LANs.
What Is A LAN?
The main reason you’ll need a router is to connect (i.e. create) a LAN (Local Area Network) at your home or small office. As noted above, because the router distributes modem signals to the devices connected to the router, those devices can all connect to the internet through their wireless connection to the router.
The LAN can operate entirely separately from the internet, and you should understand that you can have a working WI-FI network, meaning you can wirelessly exchange data between the devices on the LAN, while having no internet connection at all. Of course, most people see the LAN as being way more useful if it is also connected to that much larger network, the internet.
Finally, over the years a lot of ISPs recognized that minimizing the technical demands on the part of internet customers, who were after all expected now to be LAN admins at least to some extent, was a good and helpful thing to do.
And in light of that, ISPs and router manufacturers began supplying customers with modem-routers, combining both networking devices into one compact box. This eliminated the external cable connection required between the modem box and the router box, and simplified setup. A device of this sort, combining both modem and router, is often called a “gateway”.
Setting Up Your Netgear Router
The setup of any wireless router, including Netgear routers, can be pretty basic. Still, you will need to have at least some technical information to make the whole thing actually work. We will look at the process here.
As we noted above, if you have a modem-router, one step in this setup will be eliminated, as you already have the modem and router internally connected in the gateway box. Note that there is no difference between these in how to login to Netgear routers.
First, let’s take a look at exactly how the data-flow runs, from the ISP to your WI-FI connected device.
In order of network connection, this is basically it:
- Cable modem or DSL modem
- Wireless router
- Wireless devices (computers, mobile devices, smart devices)
The flow of data goes both ways, so if you’re sending data out from your device to the internet, then just reverse the order of how that data goes through the various parts of the network. If you have a modem-router, while your setup is simpler, the flow of data will be the same.
To set up your Netgear router, and establish your LAN, you will need to go through the following procedure:
- Unpack the router (or modem router)
- Review indicator and port panels
- Position your router or gateway/li>
- Connect your cables
We’ll assume you have made it through the unpacking. It is important to familiarize yourself with the indicator lights and the connection ports on your router or gateway.
These are generally organized in one panel for the lights, and another panel for the power switch and cable connections. The panels can be front and rear or sometimes on some models of Netgear routers the indicator lights will be on top and the connections in the back.
The indicator lights on a Netgear router will tell you such things as:
- Status of internet connection (ready, working, or off)
- Status of 2.4 and 5 gigahertz Wi-Fi connection
- USB port activity
- Ethernet port activity
In addition, if you have a gateway, you may have indicators showing internet connectivity and data streams. If you have a router only, the absence of an internet status (so, an “off” indicator) could mean either there is no ethernet cable connection between the modem and the router or the ISP connection to the modem is down.
Remember, you will need to connect your router to your modem, via an ethernet cable, in order to route internet signals to the devices connected to the router. Again, on gateways, that step will not be necessary. But you will need to connect your gateway to either your coaxial cable or DSL and of course have a working connection through these to your ISP.
How To Login To Netgear Routers
Assuming your router is properly set up, and of course connected to power and turned on, you can now learn how to login to Netgear routers. To login to your router means to obtain direct control of the device, which will enable you to monitor your network status, and make any necessary changes to the network you need to.
You will want to login using a web browser (from a computer or mobile device) connected to the router’s network. Needless to say, the router needs to be powered on and operating in order to login to it.
Netgear routers and gateways can usually be accessed by entering one of the following into the URL window on a browser:
- www.orbilogin.net (when connected to the Orbi WiFi Network)
When you go to one of these URLs you will see a login window pop up, asking you for a user name and password.
The default user name will be “admin” and the default password is “password”.
This will bring up the basic home page and enable you to change numerous settings on the router, which of course you should not do until you have carefully reviewed Netgear documentation to ensure you know exactly what you are changing and what the effect will be on the user experience of your network.
In some cases, the above login procedure will not work. This can be caused by a number of issues, and just clearing browser caches can eliminate the problem and allow you to login through your browser. However, if that does not work, you will want to locate your browser’s IP address on the network and enter that directly into the URL window of your browser.
Depending on the type of device you are using to login to your router, you will use different methods to locate the router IP address.
We will describe basic methods for finding the router or gateway IP address using Windows or Mac OS devices.
- Open Start and click the Windows logo (bottom-left corner)
- Open Settings by clicking the gear icon
- Click Network and Internet
- Click “view your network properties” link
- Scroll to Wi-Fi section
- Look for the “Default gateway” and the IP address of the router
- Open the Apple menu by clicking on the Apple (upper left of screen)
- Open System Preferences
- Click Network
- Click Advanced
- Click TCP/IP
- See “Router” for IP address
Again, use the router IP address as your URL in your browser and this should bring up the admin login window for the router. Follow the instructions above to login to the router.
Beyond the basics we have discussed here, refer to Netgear docs to learn more on how to login to Netgear routers and gateways.
Generally, as we have seen, learning how to login to Netgear routers or any routers is pretty easy. In fact it is so easy that you will want to immediately change your admin login name and password for your router because anybody can acquire and use the default settings for any router. Once you have learned how to login to Netgear routers, and do so, you will obtain a lot more control over your network and get a great deal more of your money’s worth from your router or gateway.