TalkTalk Router Security Advice

What’s the problem with TalkTalk routers?

Anyone who has a TalkTalk router should consider changing its wireless password following a security breach in which router names and passwords have been taken. If TalkTalk hadn’t kept this information then it couldn’t have been stolen, but they did, and it was, so now it’s up to their customers to take corrective action.

Does router security really matter?

People out in the street can usually see the name of your router, and if they know the wireless password as well, they can get on to the Internet using your connection. If you don’t care about the possibility of this happening, then you don’t need to do anything, but if you don’t like the idea of strangers piggy-backing on your service, you need to take action to make sure they can’t get in.

How do I know my router’s details?

There’s usually a label stuck on each router giving its name and the password required to connect to it wirelessly. However, you don’t have to stick with the name and password on the label. You can change the name and password that were given to the router when it was made, and make them whatever you like.

Is there any technical router terminology?

The router’s name is technically called its Service Set Identifier, so the label will probably say ‘SSID’ rather than ‘name’. Similarly, the label might say ‘wireless key’ rather than ‘wireless password’. While you’re looking at the label, make a note of the administration account name, which is usually ‘admin’, and the password for that account.

How do I make the changes to my router?

When you run a browser program such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari, you’d normally use it to look at various sites on the Web. However, you can use a browser to talk directly to the router, rather than to the outside world. The router is actually a computer in its own right, and you can log on to it to change its numerous settings, including its name and wireless password.

What’s the exact procedure for changing my router’s password?

Before you start, please note that although this isn’t a complex or risky procedure, I don’t accept any responsibility if you decide to use it to change the wireless password of your router and something goes wrong.

  1. Start up your favourite browser program for surfing the Internet.

  2. In the bar at the top where you’d normally type something like ‘’, type ‘’ instead (this is the router’s own address).

  3. The next bit depends on the exact model of your router, but you should be invited to log in with a user name and password (please note that the user name to use is not the router’s name, and the password to use is not the wireless password).

  4. The user name for logging in to the router is normally ‘admin’ (it could be something else, though I’ve never seen any other user name used for router administration). However, if there’s another administration account name on the label stuck to the router, use that instead.

  5. The password for logging in to the router as an administrator is quite often just ‘admin’ again (yes I know, the security on some routers is a joke) though on a modern router there should be a more secure administration password on the label stuck to the router or on a plastic card held in a handy slot at the back of the router.

  6. Once you’ve logged in you’ll see many different options, but the ones that you’re interested in will be the wireless settings.

  7. Once you’ve found the screen showing the wireless password, change it. Usually you have to type a new password in the ‘wireless password’ or ‘wireless key’ box, then click an ‘Apply’ button. Please be careful when typing in the new password, because there’s often no ‘type it again’ box to make sure that you’ve really entered what you thought you’d entered.

  8. Note that if you’re using a wireless connection to change the wireless password, your connection will be lost as soon as you’ve made the password change. It’ll then be necessary to re-make the connection to your router, typing in the new wireless password to do so.

  9. Also remember that all other wireless devices in your home will need to re-connect to the router using the new wireless password. This procedure might seem like a lot of trouble, but at least you’ll know that nobody out in the street who’s managed to obtain your old wireless password will be able to use your Internet connection any more.