Accessing your home router from inside the network is easy. You type in router’s IP address (usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1) in the web browser, followed by login credentials. And that’s it. But, how about accessing your router remotely?
Video Tutorial (recommended)
Why Access your router remotely?
#1 Your parents ask you to fix their internet, but you are not at home. So, with this method, you can quickly log into their router and see if the internet is down from the ISP or if there is a problem with their computer itself.
#2 You want to check if the kids at your home are playing games on their computer, instead of doing their homework.
#3 You suspect your neighbour is stealing your WiFi when you are not at home. You can even disconnect their device remotely.
#4 And finally, if your router supports a USB drive. Then you can connect an external hard drive to it and access its content from all around the world.
Why not use remote desktop apps like TeamViewer?
Yes, it’s true, you can also access your router with apps like TeamViewer. But then, you’ll have to keep one computer in your home, turn ON all the time. This is not practical if you are going out for more than a day or two.
But routers are always turn ON. Doesn’t matter if you are at home or not. And on top of that, you don’t have to install any software as well. All you need is a web browser and you can access your router from any part of the world.
How does it work?
When you want to access your router from inside the network; what you do is — type in the router’s IP address in the web browser. Right?
Similarly, to access your router from outside, you need to type in your public IP address followed by remote control port no i.e. 8080. So, if your public IP address is 188.8.131.52, then you’ll have to type 184.108.40.206:8080 on the web browser.
But there are two problems here
#1 As a part of security measure, every router, by default has this remote management feature turn OFF. So, you have to enable it first.
#2 Most home users are assigned a dynamic IP address, which means, every time you restart your router, your public IP changes. So, we need to figure out a way to bypass dynamic IP address problem. And for that, we’ll use services like Dynamic DNS.
So let’s see how to do that.
Part 1: Turn ON remote sharing
This one is simple. All you need to do is – login to your router by typing the default gateway in the web browser. Next, enter your username and password. Now, once you are in the router’s dashboard; look for the remote management option. Some routers called it remote access and it’s usually found under advanced settings.
Once you see the remote management option, enable it. And save changes.
It’s a good security practice to change your default port no. from 8080 to something different. Also, make your sure you don’t use default login credentials. Change it to something complex or anyone can login to your network with a brute force attack.
PART 2: Setup up Dynamic DNS
Now since our public IP address is dynamic, it’ll change every day. So let’s fix it with Dynamic DNS. But before that; let’s first understand what dynamic DNS actually is.
Let’s take this analogy. If I change my postal address frequently, I won’t receive my letters on time. Right? So, instead of giving my address to everyone, I’ll give them my friend’s fixed address. Now, my friend will receive all my mail. And since I going to keep him updated with my latest address, he can easily forward them to me.
So, this Dynamic DNS is similar to the friend in the middle. When you sign up with their service, you have to link your dynamic public IP to a domain name. And you can use that fixed domain name instead of your public IP. And they will do the job of updating your IP address in the background.
Now there are many dynamic DNS providers out there. Some free, some paid. The best way to find, which service to choose, is by checking which service is supported by your router by default. So follow these steps.
#1 Login to your router and look for an option which says Dynamic DNS.
If it’s not there, then you can download IP updater software from any Dynamic DNS provider. And put it on the computer which is used frequently. But, almost every router (even the cheaper ones) have this Dynamic DNS options inbuilt, so you don’t have worry about that.
My TPlink router supports DynDNS and no-ip. Now since the first one is paid only. I will go with the second one, i.e no-ip. And bBy looking at the interface, I can tell, all I need is a domain name, and username/password.
#2 So go to noip.com and create a free account.
#3 Next, go to the dashboard, there you’ll find an option to Add hostname. Click on that. A new window will open, write a new sub-domain of your choice and click add.
#4 Now, copy your new domain name and paste it your router settings, also enter your username and password that you have used to login to that service. And save changes.
Now, to access your home router from a remote location, type in your domain name followed by the remote control port no. For example — mrinalhome.ddns.net:8080. If your setup is correct, you’ll see the login screen of your router.