Wi-Fi extenders can be very useful devices to expand coverage in the home, but the passwords issue can be very confusing, especially when you get them out the box brand new. Does a Wi-Fi extender have any default passwords? Can you attach and assign a password to an extender to make it more secure, both for it’s wireless network access and also to access it’s settings panel?
It is always possible and in fact required to assign both an administration and a wireless password to a Wi-Fi extender during the setup process. The wireless password is always the same as the host router once it is configured.
In other words, yes, you can and in fact must put a password on a Wi-Fi extender to even being using it properly. It’s a necessary security feature, to protect access both to it’s network and it’s administration panel.
What Passwords Does A Brand New Extender Have?
When you first plug in an extender out the box, it doesn’t really have much configured on it already. Here’s what you typically find for brand new extenders:
- Wi-Fi password – There isn’t one on a new extender that hasn’t been configured yet. It just broadcasts an open network with a pretty obvious name (eg. “TP-Link-Extender”) that you can just click on to connect to, without needing a password.
- Admin password – Will be the default one listed on the sticker, often just “admin” or “password”, to put you into the extender’s settings panel.
You change this and add your own passwords, once you properly set up the extender, which is what we’ll cover next.
Adding Passwords To The Extender During The Setup Process
The standard process of setting up a Wi-Fi extender by connecting it to your router by default also involves adding both Wi-Fi and access passwords to it. In other words, just follow the standard configuration process for your extender, and passwords will be taken care of automatically (but be sure to note down any custom passwords added).
Let’s break down the setup process into a few stages to see how you add your own passwords.
Initial Setup Steps:
- Note down login details on your extender on the label and plug it in near the router for initial setup (you can move it later once configured)
- Find the extender’s SSID (network name) on your device and connect (it’s an open network when brand new, with no password needed).
- Open any web browser on your phone/tablet and type in the access URL (on the label) into the address bar eg. http://tplinkrepeater.net
- Enter the default admin username/password on the label:
This puts you into the extender’s setup panel, where you can begin the setup process proper. There might be a Setup/Quick Setup menu/tab you need to click on to start this.
Adding a new admin username/password:
These are the credentials you will enter to access the extender’s configuration/admin/settings panel and make changes. You just entered the default ones on the label; now you’ll be prompted to change them to something more secure and add your own username/password for better security for future logins.
Set a new username and a strong password and note them down, as you’ll have to factory reset the extender and start over if you forget them.
Adding a wireless password to the extender:
Once you’ve set a new admin username/password, you’ll then be steered through the setup process to connect the extender to your router. Here are the general steps:
- Find and connect to your router’s Wi-Fi network on the list.
- Either copy or modify your router’s credentials for the repeater. You’ll have some boxes to confirm the extender’s new SSID/network name and password. The SSID is usually the same as your router’s, but with an extra “EXT” or “EXTENDER” bit on the end, but you can edit this to anything you want (eg. “Bill-Extender”). And the wireless password is set the same as your router and cannot usually be changed.
- Save settings and connect the device to the new extender network, which will have the same password as your main router.
- A green light indicates the repeater is connected and working.
- Then move the extender round to where you need it, still making sure it is within range of the router’s signal.
See our full guide on setting up a Wi-Fi extender on a browser for more detailed steps.
Custom admin and wireless passwords have now been added to your Wi-Fi extender for better security.
Can You Change The Password On A Wi-Fi Extender?
Adding your own password during the setup process makes your extender more secure, but what if you want to change them again at some future point? Can you do this?
This depends on which password you mean. Admin/configuration passwords can be very easily changed, but an extender’s wireless password is usually locked to be the same as your router and can’t be altered.
Changing the admin password – Log into the extender’s settings panel as described above by typing in the access URL into a browser address bar, plus the current custom username/password you’ve set, to gain access (if you’ve forgot these, skip to the next section). Browse around the settings and there will be an option under Admin/Settings/Access/Password or similar, to set a new admin username/password.
Setup panels vary on different extender brands, but here’s how it looks for TP Link models:
Wireless password – Is set by default to be the same as your main router, and cannot usually be changed.
What If You Forget A Password You’ve Added To An Extender?
If you’ve forgotten a password you’ve added to an extender, especially the admin one, and you need to gain access, your best option is to factory reset the extender to restore everything to default, and re-configure it again from scratch with new credentials.
To do this, insert a pin into the reset hole on the extender when it’s plugged in and hold down for a few seconds until the lights blink or go out:
Then wait a minute for the extender to re-initialize. Everything has now been restored to the defaults listed on the label, and you can set the extender up from scratch again as detailed in the above sections, creating a new admin password you can note down.
If you forgot or don’t know the extender’s wireless password, remember it’s usually the same as your router. If you don’t know your router’s password, you can factory reset that as well to restore the defaults listed on the label, and connect the extender from there.