Priority #5 - Bolstering the router’s passwords

Now that we have tightened our network’s security, we are ready to beef up our router’s passwords.

Our wi-fi network has two passwords. One that we use to join the network, and get access to the internet. And another that is used to configure the router. Both need to be changed from the defaults that the router shipped with.

#1 – Strengthen the wi-fi network password

The 'wi-fi network password' is the password that you use to join the wireless network. Unless you’ve set your network to “No security”, you are already using a wi-fi network password. If you’re using the router’s default password or a memorable one that you’ve set yourself, then you should consider replacing this password with a strong password.

Remember, that we do not consider the router’s default password to be strong.

To upgrade the wi-fi network’s password, find the WIRELESS settings, usually located in the BASIC section.

adding strong passwords to your wireless network is essential

In the example above, the less than awesome password Rex1984 has been used to secure, in this case, two networks. We are going to change Rex1984 to a strong password and then hit SAVE. Again, don’t expect your screen to look like this. Unless your using a TP-Link Touch P5 your screen is probably going to look different to this example. Also, you may only have one network to secure. Regardless, the concept is the same – find the right screen, update the wi-fi password(s) and hit SAVE.

#2 – Strengthen the router’s “admin” account password

The router’s admin account is the account that you use to log into the router to make configuration changes. Your router shipped with a default “admin” password. To upgrade the “admin” account with a strong password, go to the ADMINISTRATION section. It’s usually the first option.

changing your router's default password is essential

On most routers, you can also change the administrator user name from admin. This will make things harder for hackers, but if you’ve got a 12 character strong password in place, then having people be able to guess what your admin user id is called isn’t going to do them much good.

Next up - Priority #6 - Other important security measures