If you are traveling and want to check up on your home network, you can do so by remotely accessing its router. Most users we interacted with were not familiar with this feature, but accessing the router remotely allows you to check up on your family, roommates, and even access devices connected to the router via a USB drive.
You could also accomplish this by using some third party apps like teamviewer. However, you will need to install it on a host computer that has to always remain turned on and connected to the network. If the device turns off, or is removed from the network, you will lose this ability.
You won’t have to worry about these possibilities because when you directly access the router, the router is always powered on and connected to the network.
As such, if you also want to access your router remotely, the article we have prepared for you below will help you do so.
Why You Might Need to Access Router Remotely
- Check up on their children when they are away from home.
- Check up if their roommates or family were home.
- Help their elderly parents, who live in a different location, to fix their internet issues.
- Access external devices, such as a hard drive, printer,etc connected to the router via a USB.
How to Access Router Remotely
We’ve talked about this above already; one option you have is to install and configure a third-party app such as teamviewer. However, we don’t prefer to use such apps since it needs a host device to run.
The host device needs to be powered on and connected to the internet at all times. And lastly, you will also need to install and configure the same third party app on the remote device.
Instead, we will look into a method that will let you have remote router access without the need for a third-party app. In fact, all you will need is a browser with internet access.
However, please be aware that messing up the wrong router settings can prevent you from accessing the internet. Therefore, please follow the steps below carefully.
Setup Remote Access on Your Router
If you want to access your router from within the network, you simply type in the router gateway provided in the router documentation. Most routers also have the gateway address (private IP address) printed on them, so you can also directly find it that way.
Alternatively, you can also use the ipconfig command in Windows to find your router gateway.
- Press Win + R and type
cmdto launch the command prompt.
- At the prompt, execute command
- Note down the IP address next to Default Gateway under Ethernet adapter Ethernet (if ethernet connection), or Wireless LAN adapter WiFi (if WiFi connection) .
Now you can launch a browser and type in the gateway IP in the address bar to access the router from within your network.
However, if you try the same from outside your network, then you won’t be able to access your router.
This is because the IP address that you need to type into the browser now is an external IP address (public IP) that your ISP provides. You will also need the specific device to have an open port for you to connect to it.
Thus, you will need to first configure your router for remote access.
- Launch a browser and connect to the router.
- Navigate to the setting related to remote connection. In the example below, we are connecting to a Prolink PRC3801 router, and the option is located at Setting > Internet. The location of your Remote Access setting might vary depending upon your model, so refer to documentation or user manual.
- Toggle the Remote Access option to On.
- Either change the port number assigned (8080 by default here), or leave the default port and note it down.
- Save settings.
- TPLink: Security > Remote Management.
- Linksys: Administration > Remote Management.
- DLink: Tools > Administration > Enable Remote Management.
- Netgear: Settings > Remote Management.
Having completed the steps above, you can now connect to the router by simply typing the public IP of your network followed by the port address.
You can find your public IP from Windows Powershell.
- Press Win + R and type
powershellto launch the Windows Powershell.
- At the prompt, execute command:
You may get an “Internet Explorer is not available…” error when you try to execute the above command. If so, you can simply launch an instance of Internet Explorer and close it again to fix this issue. The command should then run without a problem.
Setup Dynamic DNS
Having set up remote access on your router, you will be able to access it from anywhere via the internet. That is, until your router restarts. When this happens, your ISP assigns a new public IP to the router every time it restarts, thus foiling your brilliant plan.
One solution to this problem is to purchase static IP from your ISP which does not change. In fact, this is the preferred solution for a lot of enterprise-level use cases. However, as an individual just looking to monitor their home network, purchasing a static IP might not be the right solution for you.
In this case, we can set up a dynamic DNS. By configuring a DDNS, you can forward communications to your home network to a fixed DDNS server, which keeps track of your dynamic IP, and forwards the packets to it.
Thus, instead of keeping track of your ever-changing dynamic public IP, you can rely on the IP of the DDNS service provider to locate your home router from an outside network.
Most routers also have DDNS configurations built into them already. In fact, it might also list a few DDNS providers already populated among the selections in a drop-down menu for you to choose from.
However, be warned that some of these DDNS providers are paid services and might require you to sign up for the service with a subscription fee.
Some of the popular DDNS providers are:
- Duck DNS (free)
- Dynu (free)
- FreeDNS (free)
- No-IP (free)
- Afraid.org (free)
- DynDNS (paid)
You will need to choose a DDNS service provider. Thereafter, follow the steps below to configure DDNS on your router.
- Create an account with the DDNS service provider of your choice.
- Setup the domain of your DDNS by providing a hostname.
- Open the web browser and log onto your router.
- Navigate to the Dynamic DNS setting and toggle it ON.
- Under Host Name, enter the domain you just created with the DDNS provider.
- Also input Username and Password to the DDNS provider, if required.
- Save setting and exit or restart router as required.
Now you are configured to access your router remotely. In the example above, you can access the router remotely by launching a web browser and typing
8183k.duckdns.org:8080 in the address bar from anywhere in the world.