I was in the middle of studying for my Network+ certification when I happened upon the tracert command (which I was aware of, but hadn’t tried since high school). When I tried it out, I realized my Linksys wireless router was still configured with the default IP address (192.168.1.1). What I was faced with was a chance to fix something I should have done years ago. What did I do? I totally seized the day.
When I set up the access point many moons ago I was smart enough to change the default SSID, I set up an admin password (which I promptly forgot), and I encrypted the signal using WPA2 with a good password. However, I was a major noob (I picked WPA2 not because it was the best – I had no idea – I picked it because it looked fancier than the rest), and I had no idea that I was leaving myself open to attack by not changing the default IP address. Heck, I didn’t even realize I could change the IP address.
Now, however, in order to change it, I needed to figure out what my login name and password were.
I found out that some Linksys equipment (mine, in particular) uses a default username of admin and a default password of, you guessed it, password (others may use a blank username and a password of admin). So, using the appropriate login name I was quickly able to guess my password, which is good.
Unfortunately, I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do much. All of the admin pages were in Swedish. Now, I remember setting the thing up several years ago, and it wasn’t in Swedish. What happened since then? I don’t know.
Lucky for me, I use the all-powerful Google Chrome web browser, which automatically noticed my predicament and graciously offered to translate the page for me. I clicked the, “gee thanks” button and was presented with awkward but passable English.
I quickly changed my router’s IP address to something top-secret, then went about poking around the settings tabs. I wanted to change the language. You know, it’s usually pretty easy. You’ve got your cell phone, your Nintendo DS, your home game consoles, your computer, Facebook, movies, your banking site, your children… They all make it relatively easy to change the language you use to interact with them. For some strange reason, Cisco decided to hide the language settings page. I poked around for several long minutes before realizing it wasn’t there. Bologna.
While poking around I noticed some other things to do. I changed the broadcast channel finally. Months ago I downloaded the excellent WiFi Analyzer app for my Motorola Droid, and had seen that I was broadcasting on the most popular channel in the neighborhood, but I hadn’t been able to get into my router at the time. Now that I was in, I used the application to select a better channel than the default (6, I believe). In my area, channel 1 was pretty empty.
I also changed the timezone since I originally set up the router in California but I’m now on the East Coast.
Sadly, changing the timezone didn’t change the language (I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that Swedish is the default language when you use the router in California, but this was not the case). So, I went to my good friend Google for help.
I immediately found that the answer was buried online as well as being buried on the router. One user on Yahoo Answers suggested contacting Cisco technical support for the answer. That’s not very helpful!
That’s when I realized, “if I find the answer, I should write a blog post about it to make it easier for people to find, then I’ll write a whole bunch of crap before the solution, forcing them to read pages and pages of stuff they don’t care about.” Either way, I hope that this brings people to my site for something useful, rather than looking for pictures of Robert Downey Jr. (apparently my single post the merely mentions him is galaxies more popular than any of my other posts).
Anyhow, I eventually found the answer in the comments section of a post about configuring one of these wireless doohickeys (yeah, I thought it should end in “ies” also, but spellcheck liked this better).
The humble comment posting from this genius, karthickjck, appears below:
So that’s it? There’s a language.htm page? Where was the link for it? Why couldn’t I find it? Where does Mr. karthickjck get his information? For those of you who can’t read images, here’s a transcription of karthickjck’s secret information:
In your browser try opening the page http://192.168.1.1/language.htm then try selecting the language you prefer. It may ask for a language pack. Insert your setup CD and in the CD look for the folder Langauge and select the appropriate language pack.
Just to let you know, it didn’t ask me for a language pack, but I kept hitting the button directly below the Language Selection drop-down box (which, as you can see below, is the “Upgrade Language” button) rather than the save button below it. Don’t do that, it’s confusing and it takes you to a page where it asks you to upload one of those language packs. Also, the address in the solution is the default IP address for Linksys wireless routers – if it doesn’t work then your router’s IP address has been changed and you’ll need to use the correct IP address. Running tracert http://www.google.com like I did (or you can use some other destination) will show your router’s IP address (should be the first one listed, unless you have a vastly more complicated home network than I do).
So we’re on the same page, I’m using an old but reliable WRT54G Linksys Wireless B/G router, but I think this should work for a lot of older (and perhaps newer) Linksys routers if they use the same HTML based interface for configurations and settings.
Anyhow, here’s a screenshot of the magical Language page (called Multi Language in the title bar) that is not directly linked to in the rest of the interface:
See in the sub-menu area below the big ADMINISTRATION menu header where it says, “… Config Management | Language” ? That “Language” link goes away when you click on any other menu link anywhere on the page. Why did they do that? Why couldn’t the language option be a permanent resident in the menu? So many questions, not enough answers.
I hope that helps you. If this helped you solve your problem, please leave a quick comment for me. It’ll make me feel good, and you’ll feel good for making my day.