Succinctly, I need to access the admin (served over http) page on a Netgear wifi router. My initial attempt at the documented www.routerlogin.net dropped through to a search page annoyingly provided by TWC.

Every page I found via a google search basically duplicated the contents of Netgear's own help page though in mind-numbing hand-holding detail with the punchline not revealed until pages of scrolling later: “it’s the default gateway”.

Ah... no, it is not the gateway. Do they think that the wifi access point is only ever (ever!) used as a gateway with a “modem” plugged into the yellow port?

In my case, it's not the gateway. It's just another device attached to the Ethernet inside the LAN. In my case, I wanted the wi-fi in a different location than where the gateway is; I get useless to no reception at the opposite end of the house and different floor. But in the past I’ve supplied a different wi-fi router because the provided residential gateway appliance didn’t have it or wasn’t as good (e.g. 5G).

So, it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, I would think. And my previous ones (different brands) I figured out how to locate the IP address of the box’s admin app.

What’s extra strange is that, logging in with the defaults it came with, the desired page initially came up with the routerlogin URL when used by a device connected via wi-fi. But, while going through it, I suddenly started getting 404’s. Reloading, I found that this URL decided to take me to the admin of the gateway, after all! That is, it showed me the page from the Ariss Residential Gateway that connects me to TWC broadband, not the page from the Netgear access point that it was serving up a moment earlier.

The first thing I tried (from a computer plugged directly into that same device via Ethernet) was www.routerlogin.net as I reported above. Then to try to determine the IP address to enter manually, I checked the client list from the gateway: none of the IP addresses it listed belonged to the service I was looking for, and although there were some IPv6 addresses listed that I didn’t immediatly recognise as belonging to something else, they are not taken as URLs in the browser’s address bar.

So, how do I find the admin service on the Netgear router, really (it’s not just the default gateway)?

  • 1
    You should be careful when using addresses like www.routerlogin.net especially in a scenario like this one. The URL should be converted to router address, but it works only if the router provides DNS and resolves this URL by itself. If your gateway is another router which may not perform this trick on that particular URL, your DNS query may get outside your LAN. In this case you will try to reach some external site which may be malicious. Compare: TP-LINK loses control of two device configuration domains. – Kamil Maciorowski Jul 7 '16 at 10:47
  • The device does't claim to be a DNS cache among its features. I supposed it must intercept the request that it routes. – JDługosz Jul 7 '16 at 10:51

From a PC connected to the LAN port(s) of the router, or connected to an ethernet switch that also connects to the router, or connected to the WiFi access point in your router, you should be able to open a web-browser and in the address bar enter a URL formed from the LAN-side IP-address of the router.

For example:

If you do not know the LAN-side IP-address of your router, you will have to discover it.

As I hope you know, typically you cannot simply connect two (or more) typical home routers to the same LAN. This is because their out-of-the-box (default) configuration is to provide DHCP service and configure clients to use them as the default gateway, local DNS server and so on. These services clash unless you deliberately disable unwanted and/or conflicting services in at least one router.

A second router is unlikely to show up in a DHCP client list of another router because the second router is very unlikely to be configured as a DHCP client. home routers are usually configured with a static IP-address in one of the private-use ranges and act as a DHCP server, not as a DHCP client.

It is also possible that two routers would choose the same default IP-address. Addresses ending in .254 or .1 are commonly chosen for routers.

Some methods for finding a routers IP-address include

  • consult the notes you prudently made when configuring your equipment.
  • try some other commonly used addresses such as or
  • try command arp -a on a local PC and form a URL for each IP-address to test.
  • use a tool like nmap to obtain a list of IP-addresses of local devices.
  • disconnect the router from the LAN and perform a factory reset as described in the user manual for the router. Use an Ethernet patch cable to attach a PC to the isolated router and reconfigure it. It might be easiest to give it a static local IP-address in the range used by your main router but outside the range of your main router's DHCP pool.

Only the last method will work if your second router is attached to the same physical LAN as your PCs and main router but is configured to use an IP-address in a different logical subnet. In this case your PC will want to route to it via your default gateway (your main router) which is somewhat unlikely to know a route to your second router.

Your life may be simpler if you replace your Netgear router with a WiFi repeater — if that is its only current function in your home.

  • That does not work. 254 (nor anything else) shows in the client list of the dhcp server in the gateway. (Yes, 192.168.1.* is my LAN’s setup). – JDługosz Jul 5 '16 at 10:50
  • @JDługosz: See updated answer. If you don't get very far with that, my final paragraph might be even more relevant than it was before. – RedGrittyBrick Jul 5 '16 at 11:03

Well, I figured it out, and beware anyone else buying a Netgear wifi router (I was replacing an Asus)! It ignored the presence of an esisting DHCP server when it powered up, and bestowed upon itself the same .1 local address (and announced itself as a new DHCP server too).

That's why I could not find it in the network: it did't have a new address.

But this begs the question of why other devices on the same wifi had no trouble? In fact, this Samsung tablet (Android 4.4.2) switched from showing the wifi router’s config page to showing the gateway router's config page in the browser mid-stream. Why would the wifi router sometimes keep packets addressed to its own address and sometimes route them?

A Win10 desktop plugged into the wifi router had no trouble routing to the intended device with address, even though it was plugged into the box claiming the same address.

Anyway, the solution is to attach it as the only thing, unplugged from the rest of the LAN, and change all the settings manually. This is in contrast to one that figures out most of it by itself if turned on in an existing network, where doing everything manually after starting in a different topology would be more work and errorprone.

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