How to Put a Password on Linksys Wi-Fi

By Nick Peers

Learn how to protect your Linksys wireless network and your privacy by using a password. Tighten security by changing the administrator password.

Use a strong wireless password to protect your Linksys wireless network from unauthorized access. To password protect the Wi-Fi network, use your router's Linksys Web interface, which should also have a highly secure password to prevent others from accessing it and changing its security settings.

Tip

Attackers who gain access to your Wi-Fi network can initiate a man-in-the-middle attack and steal sensitive information such as bank account details, usernames and passwords.

A strong password contains at least eight uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. There are also free services that can create strong passwords for you, including an utility from Norton. LastPass is a tool that remembers visited Web pages and saves the login information so that you never forget the password. Random.org generates random -- based on atmospheric noise -- passwords.

Don't use your name in passwords and avoid using any complete words. Such passwords are vulnerable to dictionary attacks.

Password Protect Your Wi-Fi Network

You can access the Web interface of your Linksys router from your computer over a wired or wireless connection, as long as the two devices are connected.

Step 1

Open the Web browser, type 192.168.1.1 into the address field and press Enter to open the Linksys Web interface. Type the username and password into the User Name and Password fields and click OK to log in.

The save the password, check the Remember My Password box.

If you can't access the interface, someone may have changed the IP address of the router, which you can locate via the Command Prompt.

  1. Press Windows-X to display the Power User menu in Windows 8.1 and click Command Prompt to open it.

  2. Type ipconfig into the Command Prompt and press Enter to see information about your network connection.

  3. Find the router's IP address in the Default Gateway section and use it in the Web browser to open the Web interface.

Tip

The default username is blank and the default password is password.

You can find the default IP address, username and password in the user guide that came with the device or online -- Linksys WRT54G model, for example.

If you can't remember the username and password, reset the router and restore all its settings to factory defaults. This action also erases all customizations.

Step 2

Switch to the Wireless tab and select the Wireless Security sub tab.

Select one of the security modes from the Security Mode drop-down box. WPA2 Personal provides adequate protection for most users. WEP is an old standard that is less secure than WPA and WPA2.

The Security Modes in the Linksys Web interface.

Step 3

Select AES -- the latest Wi-Fi encryption standard -- from the WPA Algorithms drop-down box. Select TKIP+AES if you have older devices that may not support the newer AES standard.

Type the wireless password into the WPA Shared Key field. Use a strong password to prevent an attacker from cracking it. Click Save Settings to save and apply the settings immediately.

The wireless security settings in the Web interface.

Tip

When you change the password, the router kicks off devices on the network; you have to enter the new password on each device to reconnect to the network.

You don't need to restart the router for the changes to take effect.

Change the Administrator Password

Change the router's administrator password to prevent people from accessing the Web interface and changing the settings.

Warning

If an attacker can guess or crack the administrator password, he can change the settings and then lock you out of your own router.

Select the Administration tab after you log in to the Linksys Web interface and then type a new password into the Password and Re-enter to Confirm fields. Click Save Settings to change the router's password immediately.

The password fields are on the Management sub-tab.

Warning

You are logged out after you click Save Settings and have to use the new password to log back in to the Web interface.