MikroTik is one of the most popular routers. MikroTik Router has a lot of networking services that help to build a stable and smooth network so easily. It is said that any ISP Company or any Enterprise Office cannot go a single day without MikroTik Router. So, the system administrators who are not using MikroTik Router yet, they will soon start using MikroTik Router, I think. As a system administrator, I am also using MikroTik Router about 3 years in my network and really I have got a very stable and smooth network. MikroTik Router is mainly famous for bandwidth control service and packet filtering functionalities as well as cheap price. MikroTik Router is also favorite to any system administrator because of having graphical user interface (GUI) software named Winbox which helps to manage MikroTik Router so easily. As the usage of MikroTik Router is growing rapidly, this article is designed to show the basic configuration of a MikroTik Router from very beginning using Winbox software so that a new MikroTik Router user can easily configure his/her router from very starting and can operate his network smoothly.
Prerequisites to Configure a MikroTik Router
Before going to start basic configuration of a MikroTik Router you should have below information.
- Basic knowledge about IP Addressing.
- A MikroTik RouterBoard or MikroTik RouterOS installed on a PC.
- Winbox Software.
- PC with windows operating system installed and RJ45 cables.
If you have the above requirements properly, you are now ready to start MikroTik router basic configuration. I’ll show you the proper steps to configure a new MikroTik router in the rest of this article.
4 Easy Steps to Configure a MikroTik Router
MikroTik router basic configuration includes assigning IP addresses and enabling NAT for accessing internet. MikroTik router basic configuration can be divided into 4 steps.
- Assigning WAN and LAN IP addresses
- Gateway configuration
- NAT configuration and
- DNS configuration
Among the above 4 steps, first three steps are mandatory for accessing internet trough your MikroTik router and step 4 is optional but it must be done for proper MikroTik router configuration.
To configure a MikroTik Router properly according to the above 4 steps, I’m using below information and a simple office network diagram where three users are connected to MikroTik router through a network switch and one interface of the router is connected to internet for accessing internet information.
- MikroTik RouterBoard 1100 AHX2
- WAN IP: 172.22.3.99/25 (ISP provided)
- Gateway: 172.22.3.1 (ISP provided)
- Public DNS: 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
- LAN IP Network: 192.168.10.0/24 (Private IP block chosen by me)
Simple Office Network
According to our simple office network diagram, first interface (ether1 port) is connected to ISP internet and this interface is our WAN port. We will set our WAN IP (provided by ISP) in this interface. Second interface (ether2 port) is our LAN interface and we will set our LAN Gateway in this interface. The users of this network are connected to MikroTik router trough a switch for accessing internet. In practical, your network will not be simple like this network diagram. You may have to main a large network where there may be hundred or thousand of users. But the basic configuration is same for all networks. However, we will now start our MikroTik router basic configuration according to the above 4 steps with our simple office network diagram.
Step 1. Assigning WAN and LAN IP Addresses
First step to configure a MikroTik router is to assign WAN and LAN IP addresses in WAN and LAN interface accordingly. So, follow below steps to set WAN and LAN IP addresses in your new MikroTik router.
- Download winbox from this link or collect winbox from any source.
- Connect your PC with MikroTik Router by a RJ45 cable.
- Open winbox software in your operating system and click on search button located after Connect To: input box. Connected Ethernet’s MAC will appear now. Click on the MAC address. MikroTik router default username is admin and password is blank. So, type admin in the login input box and password field left blank and then click on Connectbutton. MikroTik graphical user interface (GUI) will appear now. If you face any confusion to open MikroTik GUI using winbox software, watch my below video tutorial carefully. Hope, it will reduce your confusion.
- Now click on Remove Configuration button if prompted.
- Go to IP > Addresses menu. Address List window will appear now. Click on add new button (PLUS sign) from Address List window. New Address window will appear. Put your WAN IP address (In this article: 172.22.3.99/25) which is provided to you by your ISP into the Address input box and then select interface (In this article: ether1) on which you want to set WAN IP from the Interface drop-down menu and click Applyand then OK button.
- Click on add new button (+) again and put your LAN Gateway IP address (In this article: 192.168.10.1/24) into the Address input box and choose your LAN interface (In this article: ether2) from Interface drop-down menu and click Applyand OK button.
Assigning WAN and LAN IP addresses has been completed. Now we will assign our MikroTik gateway which is provided by our ISP so that our MikroTik router can communicate to internet with this gateway.
Step 2. Gateway Configuration
After completing WAN and LAN IP setup, you should now configure your MikroTik gateway which is provided by your ISP. So, follow below simple steps to assign gateway IP in your MikroTik router.
- Go to IP > Routesmenu. Route List window will appear now. You can see two dynamic routes are already added in this Route List. Click on add new button (+). New Route window will appear as soon as you click the button. Now put gateway address (in this article: 172.22.3.1) which is provided by your ISP in Gateway input field.
- Now click Apply and OK button.
Gateway configuration of your MikroTik router has been completed. Now we will create NAT rule so that our MikroTik router can masquerade our LAN user IP to access internet.
Step 3. NAT Configuration
After completing gateway configuration, you have to create a NAT firewall rule to masquerade your LAN IP. Otherwise, your LAN user cannot access internet through your MikroTik router. So, follow below steps to create the masquerade firewall rule in your MikroTik router.
- Go to IP > Firewall menu and click on NAT tab and then click on add new button (+) button. New NAT Rule window will appear now.
- Choose Chain: srcnat and Src. Address: 192.168.10.0/24 under General tab and choose Action: masquerade from Action tab and then click Apply and OK button.
NAT configuration in your MikroTik router has been completed. if you do not create this NAT rule, your LAN user cannot access internet through your router.
Three mandatory steps for configuring a new MikroTik router to access internet has been completed. Your LAN user are now able to access internet through your router if they use custom DNS server IP. But we shall now configure DNS in MikroTik router so that it can resolve DNS request as well as it can work as a DNS server.
Step 4. DNS Configuration
After completing three mandatory configuration, you need to configure DNS in MikroTik router so that it can resolve DNS request from the LAN user as well as itself. So, follow bellow steps to configure DNS in your MikroTik router.
- Go to IP > DNS menu. DNS Settings window will appear now. In this window, put DNS server address that you have got from ISP company or you can use public DNS IP (18.104.22.168) in Servers input box. You can put secondary DNS server IP by clicking add new value button (drop down button) located after the Servers input box. Optionally, you can turn your MikroTik router as a DNS server. Turning your MikroTik router as a DNS server is a better idea, I think. Because if you use public DNS server in your network, every DNS request of your user will consume your paid bandwidth. But if you turn MikroTik router as a DNS sever, your user will get DNS solution from MikroTik router without consuming paid bandwidth. So, if you want to turn MikroTik into a DNS server, click the Allow Remote Requests check box and click Apply and OK button.
- If you turn your MikroTik router into a DNS server, all your MikroTik IP address can be used as a DNS server IP including WAN IP which is a public IP and problem will arise here. If anyone outside of your LAN use your WAN IP as a DNS IP, your MikroTik will be happy by serving him/her DNS solution consuming your paid bandwidth. So, you must stop DNS request from outside of your LAN. For stopping DNS request from outside of your LAN, you should apply firewall rules which will drop all DNS requests coming from your WAN interface (in this article: ether1). For this, go to IP > Firewall menu and click on add new button (PLUS Sign). New Firewall Rule window will appear now. Under General tab, choose Chain: input, Protocol: udp, Dst. Port: 53 and In. Interface: ether1. Now choose Action: drop from under Action Tab and click Apply and OK button. You must create another similar rule for TCP connection. For this, click on add new button (PLUS Sign) again and choose Chain: input, Protocol: tcp, Dst.Port: 53 and In. Interface: ether1 and then choose Action: drop under Action tab and click Apply and OK button. Now your MikroTik DNS server is safe from outside of your LAN.
DNS configuration in your MikroTik router has been completed. Now your MikroTik router is able to resolve DNS request for the LAN user as well as itself.
Your MikroTik router is completely ready if you follow the above 4 steps carefully. Connect a switch to MikroTik LAN interface with RJ45 cable and connect all PCs to this switch. Also connect ISP cable to WAN interface. Now assign IP to all your LAN PC according to your LAN IP network series. If you face any problem to set IP address in windows PC, follow my another article about how to assign static IP address in windows operating system which will guide you the proper way to assign IP address in any windows PC. Now browse any website or ping google.com from your LAN PC. If your ISP is OK, you will now be able to browse any website successfully.
You should follow the above 4 steps so carefully to configure your new MikroTik Router successfully. If you miss any step, your configuration will be wrong and your LAN users will not be able to access internet through your MikroTik router. If you face any confusion to do above 4 steps, watch my below video tutorial carefully about MikroTik Router Basic Configuration using Winbox. I hope, it will help you enough for configuring your MikroTik router.
MikroTik Router basic configuration is not so enough to maintain a real network. If you need to maintain an office network, it will be better to use MikroTik DHCP Server. Managing DHCP Server with Radius Server will provide you more faster and smart solution.
Again, if you want to maintain an ISP network, MikroTik PPPoE Server is a better solution. MikroTik PPPoE Server with Radius Server will provide you a prepaid billing system also.
If you plan to maintain a Hotel, Airport, Railway, Restaurant network or any ISP network with Wifi solution, MikroTik Hotspot Server is your best friend. Using Radius Server with Hotspot, you can manage Bandwidth with Prepaid Billing Systemas well as Data Limit with Prepaid Billing System.
In addition, if you find bandwidth management solution with MikroTik Router, MikroTik Bandwidth Management with Simple Queue will be enough helpful. But it will be better to Manage ISP Bandwidth with MikroTik PCQ.
Sometimes, you may need load balancing and link redundancy solution. Then, go through MikroTik Load Balancing and Link Redundancy with ECMP.
MikroTik Router Basic Configuration has been explained step by step in this article. I hope, you are now able to configure a new MikroTik Router successfully from very beginning. However, if you face any problem to configure your MikroTik Router, feel free to discuss in comment or contact with me from Contact page.