How to get into a wireless router

I have a part time job installing phones for the hard of hearing. Sometimes I need to hook the phone to an existing wireless router BUT the client has no clue as to the key or code. Sometimes it is printed on the router but other times it has been changed by someone (not the client - who is often lucky they can turn on a computer). So... Is there a free (or very inexpensive) program or method that would enable me to see the code so I can enter it into the phone so the phone will talk to the router.



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Wireless routers have reset switches, usually on the rear, that if pushed and help for 10 seconds will return the user and password to the defaults. The defaultws can be found on the makers web site. Typical of consumer ones are user=admin password=password.

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Am not able to reset the routers because they are part of client systems. There may well be other machines which rely on the code in the router. Think of a 65 year old parent in Florida who's 40 year old offspring visits once in a while. Or even a household with multiple machines.

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Well, if you seriously wanted to break into a specific router, then perhaps it would be helpful if you would disclose the maker and model number? Not all routers are identical.

In general, you're not going to break into the router. At best, your unspecified model router might have a "guest" or "read-only" login available, which many users forget to change the password. That will let you read and record the settings. Then, you can safely reset the router to defaults, and put everything back correctly.

You also didn't bother to mention if this is a DSL, cable, or satellite system. If DSL, you have a potential problem with PPPoE as you're probably not going to easily extract the account password. Fortunately, most ISP's have methods of changing the password over the phone or online. In some cases, the same password is used for email, so be sure that email is still working after to reset the router.

If it's a DSL system, and you have a separate DSL modem and wireless router, it's a fair bet that the PPPoE password is saved in the modem, and not the router. That's the official AT&T method, which I don't use. I setup the modem for bridging, and install the PPPoE account info in the router.

Also, whenever I run into such situations (all too often), I find it very useful to just call whomever setup the system. Usually it's a relative, or if a retirement home/village, someone in the village with a clue. 99% of the time, they point me to a piece of paper, with everything I need scribbled or printed on it, neatly folder among the other computer documents, and which the elderly owners forgot to mention.

Good luck and remember (my) golden rule of computing: Never do anything to a computer that you can't undo later. This is also known as "cover thy ass".

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Jeff Liebermann

A dedicated AP might be your best bet, although it obviously increases the overall cost of the deployment. At least you wouldn't have to worry about or mess with the existing router.

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Char Jackson

Thanks for all the info! However the reason for the post is that I visit many different homes and have to live with different routers. Yes some are easy, BUT for many if anything was written down it is now lost or the person who set it up is not available. Many clients are 70 or older and are barely able to power up the machine:-(( In a nutshell I guess I am screwed . The company advises us to use a wired connection and we often do, but that puts the phone near the computer and the client wants it somewhere else. FYI here is the device:

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Thanks for the effort.


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Ok, you're forgiven, this time only.

I pay about $30 to $40 for a new wireless router. That's about 30 minutes of my time. If I can't deal with their router, I sell them a new one. If you're worried about losing the connection because of a PPPoE password, then try the setup with a new router and see if you have a chance. If it won't play, then walk away due to lack of info. That usually gets the customers attention and the info should magigally appear.

That happens. I carry a roll of CAT5e, RJ45 connectors, and a T25 stapler. The hard part is where I have to drill through the floor or wall. The worst problems are houses with babies and puppies, that like to chew on the cable.

If the customer doesn't have the WPA/WPA2 pass phrase, you still have the wired option. However, that might be tricky if they're "leaching" off the neighbors, or using a community wi-fi system.

Sigh. There are system for recovering the wireless password by sniffing. WEP is easy. WPA/WPA2 is possible, but only for fairly short pass phrases. Start here:

While this might work, I don't think your employer will allow you enough time to use this method, and will probably not want to deal with the potential legal exposure.

If you have access to their client computer, it might be possible to extract the password from the registry if the customer gives you access to their computah:

If you need a toolkit for such nefarious activities, I suggest Cain and Abel:

Note that most virus scanners will declare this (and others) to be evil-ware, and try to remove it. You'll need to create exeptions.

There are also "live CD" distributions, that have all manner of wireless hacking tools included.

I recommend Backtrack:

Welcome to the dark side...

Nice and paid for by the FCC. I don't see why they need this when a broadband internet connection is required, which implies that they already own a computah. They could just use any chat program. I have a nearly deaf relative that uses Skype for voice and chat quite effectively. I'm guessing the phone is a conventional POTS line, although you could plug it into a VoIP FXO/FXS box. Do you need to do port forwarding in the router in order to make the display work?

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Jeff Liebermann

Thanks for the info. I MAY check it out.

The idea of the phone is to help hard of hearing folks be able to communicate with the world better. I have seen just how happy many of them are when it helps them. It's why I am working for the company.

Unfortunately this is version 1 of the phone and it needs several improvements but they are working on it.

BTW Clients do NOT need a computer, just a 14.95 a month DSL connection. Computer is needed for first time sign-up and I have done it with my own netbook. Have installed phones for 88 year old folks:-))


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