How to Keep a TP-Link Router Secure

Introduction

Your wireless router transmits a signal through the air and may be detected hundreds of feet away. By default, anybody nearby can use your network. It is highly recommended that you take some simple safety steps such as encrypting and also limiting access to your wireless network.

Encrypting the information that is transmitted through the air is the best way to protect communications from eavesdroppers. The two main types of encryption are Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WPA2 is the best choice but many older routers do not have this option. If your router doesn't have WPA2, you should upgrade.

To limit access to your router it is recommended that you use a strong password that isn't freely shared or used anywhere else.

This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your wireless network.

1 Log In

  1. Using a computer that is connected to the TP-Link router, open a web browser (such as Safari, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer).
  2. At the top of the browser is the address bar, type in http://tplinkwifi.net.
    Browser address bar with URL

  3. If the address does not work, check the bottom of the router to confirm the default access address. You can also try to connect via IP address (example: http://192.168.1.1 or http://10.0.0.1)
    Example of TP-Link label with default access address highlighted

  4. If you are prompted for a username and password, you may find it on the same label where your router's address is.
    Example of TP-Link label with default username and password highlighted

The default credentials are typically:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin

2 Select Password

Wherever possible, you should pick a password that is impossible to guess and is also resistant to brute-force attacks.

Some devices or systems do not allow special characters or they may have their own requirements.

Password Dos and Don'ts

Dos
Green Check
  • Passwords should be long, 8-12 characters or more.
  • Passwords should be something easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess or lookup.
  • Passwords should have lots of different character types: upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Replacing letters with symbols is a simple way to achieve this: use @ for a, and ( for c, as example.
  • Passwords are personal, most services have a way to create a 'linked' account or share services with trusted friends and family.
  • Change passwords regularly. Every 90 to 180 days; this helps keep your accounts from being compromised long-term.
  • If you must write down a password or make note of it, do so only in specially designed programs, or keep and hold the physical copies with the same care and respect you would a social security card or birth certificate. Remember; anyone with your password "is you".
Example of a good password
Don'ts
Red X
  • Don't use short passwords; computers can guess them very easily.
  • Don't use a common word you can find in a dictionary.
  • Don't use information that can be looked up or guessed, such as a birthday, anniversary, or pet's name.
  • Don't use the same password for everything. If one password is compromised, all of the same ones are compromised across all your accounts.
  • Don't share passwords. People with your password "are you" to a computer system, or a service.
  • Don't keep the same password forever. Assume that, at some point, it will be guessed, seen, or otherwise compromised, and it must be changed.
  • Don't write down passwords in the open, or save them in non-encrypted files on your computer.
Example of a bad password
Password Resources

3 Change SSID and Password

After logging-in the router's user interface:
  1. Click on Wireless 2.4 then Wireless Settings.
  2. Confirm or change the Network Name. The network name (or SSID) is the name others will see when searching for available wireless networks in the area.
    Wireless settings screen with 1. Network 2. Wireless Settings 3. Wireless Network Name and 4. Save buttons highlighted

    • On some models you must click Advanced, Wireless, then Wireless Settings in order to change the network name.
      Wireless settings screen with 1. Advanced 2. Wireless 3. Wireless settings and 4. Network name highlighted

  3. Next, click on Wireless Security and type your new password. Scroll down and click Save.
    Wireless Security with PSK password field highlighted

  4. For Version, select WPA2-PSK.
    Wireless Security with WPA2-PSK highlighted

    • One some models you must select the Security and then the Version. Choose WPA/WPA2 - Personal and WPA2-PSK.
      Wireless Settings with 1. Security WPA/WPA2 Personal (Recommended) and WPA2-PSK highlighted

  5. Enter the password you have chosen in the box next to Password.
    Wireless Security with 1. Password field highlighted

  6. Once complete, click Save.
    Save button highlighted

  7. Your wireless security settings have now been updated and your devices may connect to it.
    • Any time you change your wireless security settings you will need to reconnect your wireless devices.
    • If your router is dual-band, meaning it has a 2.4 and a 5 GHz network you may need to repeat the steps listed above for each network because each network may be controlled individually. You must use different network names for each band.
    • If your router has a guest network you will need to repeat the steps listed above for the guest network because it is controlled separately.

4 Keeping Your Password Secure

Some precautions should be taken in order to keep your password secure.

Best practices:

  • Do not use a master password that you use everywhere (such as email, work, school, home, network)
  • If possible, do not share your password with anybody.
  • Passwords that are shared with others, like for a home network, should only be shared if necessary.
  • Be aware when typing your password in public, or that in no way anyone is watching.
  • Some types of electronic devices like computers and smartphones can remember passwords, so beware of devices that are not yours.
  • Make a schedule of when to change your password. For example, every 180 days.
  • It is not recommended to write down passwords. But if you have to, make sure that it is neither physically nor visually accessible by others.

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Your wireless router transmits a signal through the air and may be detected hundreds of feet away. By default, anybody nearby can use your network. It is highly recommended that you take some simple safety steps such as encrypting and also limiting access to your wireless network.

Encrypting the information that is transmitted through the air is the best way to protect communications from eavesdroppers. The two main types of encryption are Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). WPA2 is the best choice but many older routers do not have this option. If your router doesn't have WPA2, you should upgrade.

To limit access to your router it is recommended that you use a strong password that isn't freely shared or used anywhere else.

This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your wireless network.
  1. Using a computer that is connected to the TP-Link router, open a web browser (such as Safari, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer).
  2. At the top of the browser is the address bar, type in http://tplinkwifi.net.
    Browser address bar with URL

  3. If the address does not work, check the bottom of the router to confirm the default access address. You can also try to connect via IP address (example: http://192.168.1.1 or http://10.0.0.1)
    Example of TP-Link label with default access address highlighted

  4. If you are prompted for a username and password, you may find it on the same label where your router's address is.
    Example of TP-Link label with default username and password highlighted

The default credentials are typically:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: admin

Wherever possible, you should pick a password that is impossible to guess and is also resistant to brute-force attacks.

Some devices or systems do not allow special characters or they may have their own requirements.

Password Dos and Don'ts

Dos
Green Check
  • Passwords should be long, 8-12 characters or more.
  • Passwords should be something easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess or lookup.
  • Passwords should have lots of different character types: upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Replacing letters with symbols is a simple way to achieve this: use @ for a, and ( for c, as example.
  • Passwords are personal, most services have a way to create a 'linked' account or share services with trusted friends and family.
  • Change passwords regularly. Every 90 to 180 days; this helps keep your accounts from being compromised long-term.
  • If you must write down a password or make note of it, do so only in specially designed programs, or keep and hold the physical copies with the same care and respect you would a social security card or birth certificate. Remember; anyone with your password "is you".
Example of a good password
Don'ts
Red X
  • Don't use short passwords; computers can guess them very easily.
  • Don't use a common word you can find in a dictionary.
  • Don't use information that can be looked up or guessed, such as a birthday, anniversary, or pet's name.
  • Don't use the same password for everything. If one password is compromised, all of the same ones are compromised across all your accounts.
  • Don't share passwords. People with your password "are you" to a computer system, or a service.
  • Don't keep the same password forever. Assume that, at some point, it will be guessed, seen, or otherwise compromised, and it must be changed.
  • Don't write down passwords in the open, or save them in non-encrypted files on your computer.
Example of a bad password
Password Resources
After logging-in the router's user interface:
  1. Click on Wireless 2.4 then Wireless Settings.
  2. Confirm or change the Network Name. The network name (or SSID) is the name others will see when searching for available wireless networks in the area.
    Wireless settings screen with 1. Network 2. Wireless Settings 3. Wireless Network Name and 4. Save buttons highlighted

    • On some models you must click Advanced, Wireless, then Wireless Settings in order to change the network name.
      Wireless settings screen with 1. Advanced 2. Wireless 3. Wireless settings and 4. Network name highlighted

  3. Next, click on Wireless Security and type your new password. Scroll down and click Save.
    Wireless Security with PSK password field highlighted

  4. For Version, select WPA2-PSK.
    Wireless Security with WPA2-PSK highlighted

    • One some models you must select the Security and then the Version. Choose WPA/WPA2 - Personal and WPA2-PSK.
      Wireless Settings with 1. Security WPA/WPA2 Personal (Recommended) and WPA2-PSK highlighted

  5. Enter the password you have chosen in the box next to Password.
    Wireless Security with 1. Password field highlighted

  6. Once complete, click Save.
    Save button highlighted

  7. Your wireless security settings have now been updated and your devices may connect to it.
    • Any time you change your wireless security settings you will need to reconnect your wireless devices.
    • If your router is dual-band, meaning it has a 2.4 and a 5 GHz network you may need to repeat the steps listed above for each network because each network may be controlled individually. You must use different network names for each band.
    • If your router has a guest network you will need to repeat the steps listed above for the guest network because it is controlled separately.

Some precautions should be taken in order to keep your password secure.

Best practices:

  • Do not use a master password that you use everywhere (such as email, work, school, home, network)
  • If possible, do not share your password with anybody.
  • Passwords that are shared with others, like for a home network, should only be shared if necessary.
  • Be aware when typing your password in public, or that in no way anyone is watching.
  • Some types of electronic devices like computers and smartphones can remember passwords, so beware of devices that are not yours.
  • Make a schedule of when to change your password. For example, every 180 days.
  • It is not recommended to write down passwords. But if you have to, make sure that it is neither physically nor visually accessible by others.
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