skip to Main Content

How to Set Passwords on Cisco Routers


You are here:

Having a password on your CISCO router is the difference between casually browsing the Internet and losing all of your data and network infrastructure. There are two primary passwords that need to be set; the enable password, and the enable secret password. Without these passwords, anyone accessing the router is able make any configuration changes they want, to include shutting you out of your own network. In less than two minutes, setting your passwords puts you on your way to a more secure router and network infrastructure.

Setting the Passwords on a CISCO Router

Connect your computer to the CISCO router by using either a console cable or an Ethernet cable. If using the console cable, connect it to the console port on your computer, then to the console port on the CISCO router which will be labeled “Console,” (CISCO 2600 Series Cabling and Setup) in blue writing. If using an Ethernet cable, first connect it to your computer’s Local Area Network (LAN) port, usually located on the side of a laptop, or the rear of a desktop computer, then to the Ethernet port labeled “ETHERNET 0/0” (CISCO 2600 Series Cabling and Setup) on the CISCO router.

Use the console port to access the CISCO router via the Hyper Terminal program that comes preinstalled with the Windows operating system.

Cisco Router

Cisco Router

Go to the Start menu and select “All Programs” >”Accessories”>”Communications.” Click on the shortcut to Hyper Terminal. Use the following port settings when asked by Hyper Terminal:

Bits per second: 9600

Data bits: 8

Parity: None

Stop bits: 1

Flow control: None

Alternately, open a command prompt window by going to your Start menu and selecting “Run.” Then enter “cmd,” and press “Enter.” In the command prompt, enter the command “telnet” followed by the IP address of the router.

The command line looks like this: C:\telnet

Enter the privileged mode of the router before attempting any changes. Use the following command. Note that the “Router>” is the default router prompt for a CISCO router.


Entering the enable command will change your CISCO router prompt to:


Use the following command to enter the configuration mode of the CISCO router:

Router#config t

Successfully entering the configuration mode will give you the following message: “Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.”

Entering the configuration mode of the CISCO router will give you the following prompt:

Router (config) #

Set the enable password by using the command “enable password”. For example, use the password “Changeme2”.

Router (config) #enable password Changeme2

Use a strong password base when setting the enable password. The enable password is a virtual terminal password that is used to protect access to the router over a network interface. This password is not stored encrypted on the CISCO router, and can be seen when viewing the router configuration.

Set the enable secret password by using the command “enable secret.” For example, use the password “Newpswd4.”

Router (config) #enables secret Newpswd4

Use a different password for the enable secret password than for the enable password. The enable secret password is more secure and encrypted. Unlike the enable password, the enable secret password cannot be seen by viewing the CISCO router configuration.


If you are facing any kind of issues call us on our toll-free number 1-800-293-9401.

Was this article helpful?
Dislike 0
Views: 24

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top