What is www.routerlogin.net

Discussion in 'Network Routers' started by Mark F, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Mark F

    Mark F Guest

    I have a Netgear R6300 WiFi Router.

    To access it you go to http://www.routerlogin.net
    or, alternatively, http://www.routerlogin.com

    This differs from what I use for Verizon
    and Optimum boxes and for Linksys routers, which
    is an IP address (192.168.1.1, 192.168.100.1, 10.whatever,
    depending on the brand, model, and how the device was configured.)

    What does http://www.routerlogin.net actually mean?

    What would I get connected to if I have 2 hardwired
    Ethernet connections each with a Netgear R6300 connected
    to it?
     
    Mark F, Sep 24, 2012
    #1
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  2. Mark F

    Char Jackson Guest

    Or, alternatively, you can use the device's IP address. The default
    for that model appears to be 192.168.1.1, although I found one source
    that claims it's 192.168.0.1.
    It's just an entry in your hosts file on your computer. If you're
    running Windows, the hosts file is most likely located in
    C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. It's just a text file, normally
    hidden, that you can edit with any text editor, such as Notepad. If
    there are other devices on your local network that you frequently
    access by IP address, you can add entries for them, as well.
    You'd have two devices with the same IP address, so you'd have a
    conflict until you change the IP on one of them.
     
    Char Jackson, Sep 24, 2012
    #2
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  3. Mark F

    VanguardLH Guest

    My guess is that the router intercepts that hostname. When you use a
    hostname, it must be converted into a numerical address. Humans like
    names but computers always use numbers. That means a DNS lookup is
    required to convert a hostname to an IP address. The DNS server in your
    router is just a pass-through server: when it receives a DNS request, it
    has no lookup tables, it doesn't peer its routing tables, and it isn't
    part of the DNS mesh network. Instead you router merely and immediately
    fails on the DNS lookup and passes the request upstream to the next DNS
    server (your ISP or a public DNS server that you specified in the config
    of your router) - but the router could intercept the DNS request on a
    particular hostname specified in that request. So it sees a DNS request
    on www.routerlogin.net but instead of passing the hostname to an
    upstream DNS server it returns its own IP address.

    The router intercepts the DNS request on the hostname and returns the IP
    address for the LAN-side interface of the router (back to your host).
    In a way, this is similar to how the 'hosts' file works on your host: if
    a hostname is specified in the 'hosts' file, the IP address specified
    for that hostname in the 'hosts' file gets returned to your app that
    issued the DNS request. The 'hosts' file and router are short-
    circuiting the DNS lookup process by returning an immediate IP address
    response. The routerlogin.net domain is registered to Netgear but that
    doesn't mean they operate a web site using that domain. They just want
    to keep that domain for their own use by their own routers.

    Normally:
    Upstream:
    - App wants a hostname connect on a target host.
    - Host issues DNS request.
    - DNS request goes to router.
    - Router's DNS always fails on DNS requests, passes DNS request to
    upstream DNS server.
    - Upstream DNS server converts hostname to IP address.
    Downstream:
    - Upstream DNS server sends back IP address to router.
    - Router gets IP address and passes it down to host.
    - Host gives IP address to app
    - App makes connection using IP address to target host.

    Short-circuited lookup:
    Upstream:
    - App wants to connect to target host of www.routerlogin.net.
    - Host issues DNS lookup on www.routerlogin.net.
    - DNS request goes to router's DNS server.
    - Router's DNS server has special condition on www.routerlogin.net
    and immediately returns LAN-side IP address of router.
    Downstream:
    - Router sends back its LAN-side IP address.
    - Host gives IP address to app.
    - App makes connection to LAN-side IP address of the router.


    Say the current LAN-side IP address of your router is 192.168.100.1.
    You have 2 methods of connecting to your router's internal web server
    (to get at its configuration settings):

    IP address method (no DNS lookup):
    You tell your app to connect to the IP address (192.168.100.1). When
    you specify an IP address, DNS is not involved. Your app connects
    directly to the router on its LAN-side interface.

    DNS lookup method:
    You tell your app to connect to www.routerlogin.net. This requires a
    DNS lookup (port 53). The DNS lookup request goes to your router.
    Your router sees that as a special hostname and immediately returns
    its IP address (192.168.100.1). Your app gets the IP address and
    connects to the router's LAN-side interface.

    The DNS server in your router is monitoring for the special hostname of
    www.routerlogin.net. When it sees a request for a DNS lookup on that
    particular hostname, it immediately returns the router's IP address.

    Personally I would define a URL shortcut to connect to the router to use
    its configured LAN-side IP address rather than rely on a special-case
    lookup in the router's DNS service.
     
    VanguardLH, Sep 24, 2012
    #3
  4. Mark F

    Char Jackson Guest

    <snip>

    With the Netgear routers that I've installed, running the Setup CD
    adds an entry to the hosts file. IME, it's as simple as that. The
    router never sees a DNS request for routerlogin.net (or .com).
     
    Char Jackson, Sep 25, 2012
    #4
  5. Mark F

    Ant Guest

    Indeed. 192.168.1.1 is the default when I set one up almost a month ago
    for a client. You can change it to 192.168.0.1. I did because of
    old/existing networked devices have static IP addresses and didn't want
    to have reconfigure each one for the new router's 192.168.1.xxx. I found
    http://www.routerlogin.(net/com) a weird one. Both domains are owned by
    Netgear.

    Weird. When I saw this, I was on an old MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.5.8
    with its own /etc/hosts file.
    --
    "Yeah, what's left of it. I was in the militia -- national guard...
    That's good! Wasn't any war any more than there's war between men and
    ants." --stranger; "And we're eat-able ants. I found that out... What
    will they do with us?" --Pierson from H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Sep 25, 2012
    #5
  6. Mark F

    Ant Guest

    For me, I never touched the CD on an old MacBook Pro's Mac OS X 10.5.8.
    It is definitely the router intercepting it. On my Linksys WRT54GL, I
    don't connect to the router's login like Netgear R6300 router.
    --
    "When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them
    all." --Edward O. Wilson, 1992
    /\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
    / /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
    | |o o| |
    \ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
    ( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
    Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
     
    Ant, Sep 25, 2012
    #6
  7. Mark F

    VanguardLH Guest

    I don't have Netgear gear and guessed they had a special-case lookup by
    their internal pass-through DNS server. I had also mentioned this same
    short-circuited DNS lookup can be accomplished using the 'hosts' file
    and, per your reply, that's how Netgear does it. Thanks for the update.

    Of course, anyone running security software that locks the 'hosts' file
    will result in this technique not working; however, the IP address will
    still work since it doesn't involve DNS, 'hosts' file, or any hostname
    lookup.
     
    VanguardLH, Sep 25, 2012
    #7
  8. Mark F

    VanguardLH Guest

    Hmm, according to:

    http://compnetworking.about.com/b/2009/10/21/what-is_www-routerlogin-com.htm

    my original suspicion that the router's own DNS service has a
    special-case lookup on www.routerlogin.net appears correct.

    Try commenting out the www.routerlogin.net entry in your 'hosts' file.
    Flush your DNS cache ("ipconfig /flushdns"), and then check if using
    www.routerlogin.net still gets you to the config screens for the Netgear
    router.

    If the entry exists in the 'hosts' file, yes, there will be no DNS
    request broadcast from your host (to go through your router as your
    gateway). The lookup is performed locally in your own host by first
    interrogating your 'hosts' file. However, see what happens when you
    visit www.routerlogin.net WITHOUT that entry in your 'hosts' file.

    I don't see why Netgear would rely on an entry in the 'hosts' file.
    Security products can prevent it from getting modified. Users reinstall
    their operating systems or restore from backup images. Every router
    I've seen allows you to change its LAN-side IP address which means the
    entry in the 'hosts' file would be incorrect.

    My bet is the Netgear router intercepts the special-case hostname of
    www.routerlogin.net to return WHATEVER is its current IP address.
     
    VanguardLH, Sep 25, 2012
    #8
  9. Mark F

    Char Jackson Guest

    Could well be. That goes along with what Ant reported yesterday, as
    well.

    I know I've seen multiple systems that had an entry in the hosts file
    for www.routerlogin.com|net but I don't have such a system handy to
    see what the current state is. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that
    Netgear stopped doing that for all of the reasons you mention above.

    So back to the OP's question about what happens when two identical
    Netgear routers are on the same LAN? I guess I would expect an address
    conflict type of situation, or a race condition where one router
    answers before the other but you don't know which one responded.
     
    Char Jackson, Sep 25, 2012
    #9
  10. Mark F

    VanguardLH Guest

    That's why I always use IP addresses instead of hostnames. Each router
    would get its own unique IP address. If two had the same LAN-side IP
    address, my guess is the host would connect to the router which was
    listed as its gateway (run "ipconfig /all" to see what is the IP address
    of the gateway listed for whatever connection(s) your host is using).
     
    VanguardLH, Sep 27, 2012
    #10
  11. Mark F

    Char Jackson Guest

    I prefer IP addresses over hostnames, as well, but even with IP's you
    still have a problem if two routers have identical LAN IP's and that's
    your default gateway. You ARP for that IP and presumably both routers
    reply. That wouldn't work very well, I think.
     
    Char Jackson, Sep 27, 2012
    #11
  12. Mark F

    Mark F Guest

    I try to use IP addresses, but the instructions didn't say what the
    address and fall back were. (I have several brands and the use
    different default addresses; I assumed that Netgear would use a third
    number. When I used the Negtear way of www.routerlogin.net it the
    connection was made and there was a comment on the web page saying
    that it automatically switched to 10.0.{whatever} due to the conflict
    {which turned out to be with 192.168.1.1, another router in the
    work.)

    I don't know what would happen if I tried 2 R6300s on the same network
    with the 192.168.1.1. I don't know what would happen with
    www.routerlogin.{net,com} if two R6300s were on the net.
     
    Mark F, Sep 27, 2012
    #12
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