Your router login is not something you might need to use very often, but when you do, navigating to it – in order to get into the router and configure or check something – can be a bit of a pain.
Currently, with a good many routers, you’ll access its admin login via your web browser by typing in four numbers representing a local address (on your LAN), namely 192.168.x.x (and it’s usually 192.168.1.1, but the latter two numbers can be different in some cases).
This is a bit clunky and archaic, and the mentioned differences can be confusing, though usually your router is labeled with the correct address (or the instructions have this info).
Sometimes, though, you might be flailing around on Google (or your preferred search engine) trying to determine exactly what you need to type into your browser URL bar to access the router’s configuration menus.
All that could change in the future, though, as ICANN is set to make it so that all you need to do is type ‘.internal’ for any router, and you’ll get the login portal in your browser. In other words, no messing about trying to remember sets of numbers, all that needs to be entered is a simple word which is the same for everyone.
Analysis: A happy side-effect?
All that’s in theory – and it sounds like a good theory – but this move hasn’t happened yet.
At the moment, it’s still a proposal from ICANN, and even if the plan for ‘.internal’ goes ahead, it’ll rely on routers supporting it. (Of course, some routers offer configuration via a dedicated app anyway, and so are ahead of the game in that respect, rather than relying on a panel accessed via a browser).
For now, and in the near future, quite a number of routers (without apps) will still be using the traditional 192.168.x.x address to access their device’s settings.
ICANN’s proposal isn’t really aimed at consumers, but more broadly, at businesses and their intranets (sprawling internal networks), and ensuring the security and stability of the global domain name system.
The use of ‘.internal’ for consumers will be more of a side-effect that’s helpful than anything else, but it’ll still be very welcome – if this plan comes to fruition, of course.