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Ok, I'm about to tear my hair out. While I was in the hospital last year, my router in my dental office died, and I had to have a local IT guy come out and replace it. I gave him the password and had him duplicate all the existing settings for the new Cisco EA3500 router.

Fast forward a year later, I just discovered the roach motel next door has piggybacked a Netgear expander on to my public WiFi network! So now I'm trying to login to my router and block that stupid expander, but my password doesn't work!!! The only thing I can think of is that the IT guy did not type in my old password exactly like the old one (it was a 14 character password that included upper and lower case letters). They claim they used the exact same password, but clearly they did not.

So, I know I can reset the stupid thing, but I have spent HOURS and HOURS over the years tweaking my little office network so certain employees/MAC addresses can access (or not access) parts of my network or Internet. In hindsight I should have specifically told the IT guy to save the config file after he got it all set up, then I could just reset the router and import the settings.

I obviously have physical access to the router. Is there a way to determine the password without a brute force attack? I have tried every combination of the old password I can think of with no luck. I am just sick at the idea of having to go back and set this thing up again from scratch.

Any ideas?

  • You are not going to be able to brute force a 14 character password which depending on the security your network is using is the only method you can use. – Ramhound Oct 11 '13 at 13:48
  • Are you positive you are using the correct user for the router? That sometimes changes between models/makes. – nerdwaller Oct 11 '13 at 13:51
  • "Are you positive you are using the correct user for the router? That sometimes changes between models/make" I thought of that and you are exactly correct. I have tried that as well. The username I had was Admin, but I have no idea if they changed that, too. I've tried a ton of variations on that, too. :P – Frett Oct 11 '13 at 13:53
  • The security of my network is irrelevant because the router is right at my desk. I can attempt password combinations all day, as long as that router will not lock me out (and it hasn't yet). I guess if they used a simple password and didn't even use mine, a brute force attack could be worth the effort. – Frett Oct 11 '13 at 14:03
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    Seriously, kobaltz? I know I can do that. Unless you have been in my shoes, you don't know how frustrating it is to have spent a ton of time working on something and then have to go back and do it all again. I am looking for some clever way to get back in to my own router WITHOUT resetting it. I even went through the Firefox and IE passwords on the PC thinking maybe he had stored it when he accessed it, but all I could find was my original password. – Frett Oct 11 '13 at 14:09
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Try truncating. First 13, first 12, first 11, first 10 characters of the 14 character password.

and, of course, try "admin" (groan)

  • hmmm... definintely worth trying. I'll report back. – Frett Oct 11 '13 at 14:14
  • Other "tricks" include trying with caps-lock on & with Num lock on. – Ecnerwal Oct 11 '13 at 19:53
  • LOL yes I tried admin and every other default that Cisco/Linksys uses. :) Ok, the caps-lock thing is a great idea, too. Which would explain how he could mistype the info twice...if that's what happened. My fingers are tired from typing the same stuff over and over again. I wish my router had a superior security device on it, like a fingerprint scanner! (Just tiring to maintain a sense of humor, so I don't put my head through the wall) :) – Frett Oct 11 '13 at 20:38
  • Ah – But then you would have had to cut off your finger and handed it to the guy when you were in the hospital - got to think these "superior" things through all the way. ;-) Meanwhile a timer (or just pulling the plug at the end of the day) outside of office hours might put a crimp in the roach motel. – Ecnerwal Oct 12 '13 at 2:20

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