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Most wireless routers these days only provide a GUI interface (html). If you own a NetGear router, you need to be aware that some of them have the ability to provide a Telnet Console. To test whether your router provides that capability or not, simply try to connect with that port using Telnet. The default IP address is usually 192.168.1.1. On most modern Windows Operating Systems, the Telnet service is not enabled by default, and may have to be activated. If the port connects but does not send a response or accept any input, then the service has been locked out.

But Netgear has provided a way to unlock the port using a small Windows program called "TelnetEnable.exe". It sends an encrypted packet consisting of the MAC address of the LAN interface, and a Username and Password. But there is more than one UserName and Password in these routers. Using the command:
nvram show | grep username
size: 31594 bytes (33942 left)
pppoe2_east_username=guest@flets
pptp_username=
http_username=admin
ipv6_pppoe_username=
pppoe_tmp_username=guest
bpa_username=
ddns_username=
ver_check_ftp_username=anonymous
pppoe2_west_username=flets@flets
pppoe2_username=guest
pppoe_username=guest
parser_username=Gearpar
super_username=Gearguy
The default UserName for the Telnet interface is the "super_username", and there is a corresponding "super_passwd". That means that anyone with access to your local network can get into your router and make changes. A knowledgable hacker having access to your local network is a problem in and of itself, but this indicates that users should change not only the default HTML UserName/Password, but also the default the super_UserName/Password, which is not accessible from the GUI.

TelNetgear is a small program that provides an alternative to using Telnet.

Whether you choose to use this program to access the Telnet interface or not, you can use it to enable access and change the super_UserName/Password to protect yourself. Running the program without setting it up uses the defaults. When you start the program, it will automatically send out an ARP request and recover the MAC address associated with the default IP address (IPv4 only). If you are using a different IP address, you will have to run Setup and save the IP address. Leave the UserName and Password blank by clicking Cancel on those 2 entries. When you first attempt to connect with the router, the program detects that the Telnet settings were not returned, and sends the encrypted unlock packet and disconnects. A subsequent connect attempt should show the "#" prompt.

Once connected there are many commands which can be executed by typing directly in the lower Text box, or clicking on one of the items in the List box. The list box is filled from a file called "Commands.txt", which can be edited using any standard text editor. For example, say you have forgotten the password to login into the GUI. You can open the Telnet Console and issue the command:
nvram get http_passwd

Now it's time to change the Telnet UserName/Password. Enter the following commands:
nvram set super_username=newusername
nvram set super_passwd=newpasswd
nvram commit
reboot

Without the "commit" command, the settings would be lost on reboot. Now you must run setup and enter the new Username and Password before attempting the next connect.

WARNING: If your router does not require a UserName/Password to connect after unlocking, DO NOT leave the Telnet interface in the unlocked position. Always reboot after activating to restore it to it's default locked condition.

TelNetgear is written in VB6, and is being made available in ZIP format. Installation is usually straight forward, using "setup.exe" to install files extracted from "TelNetgear.cab" as laid out in "setup.lst".

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