TP-Link Smart DHCP Makes Network Configuration Simple

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What is Smart DHCP?

Smart DHCP is a built-in feature on TP-Link wireless devices. It can automatically configure the DHCP server settings for TP-Link devices based on the network connectivity and by detecting whether there is a DHCP server in the network, ensuring its clients can access the internet and the TP-Link device. Whether you connect your TP-Link device to a router or a modem or other network device, you can still log into its web management page to manage your TP-Link device without needing to change its DHCP server settings.

 

How does Smart DHCP work?

With the built-in smart DHCP, the TP-Link wireless device will send a DHCP server request when joining a network, and check if it can receive the response from a DHCP server.

  • If YES, the TP-Link device will think that the front device has a DHCP server enabled and that there is a DHCP server in the network, then it will turn off its own DHCP server. In this case, its clients will get IP addresses from the front device and can access the front device’s network.
  • If NO, the TP-Link wireless device will think that the front device hasn’t enabled a DHCP server and that there is no DHCP server in the network, then it will turn on its own DHCP server and use its server to dynamically assign IP addresses to its clients. In this case, its clients can access the TP-Link device’s network and can log into its web management page to manage the device. However, the TP-Link device may not be successfully connected to the front device, so it wouldn’t be able to access the internet as well as its clients.

We use a TP-Link range extender as an example to further explain this function. A range extender is used to extend an existing wireless network. Here is a typical network application.

Internet——Wireless Router >>> <<< TP-Link Range Extender >>> <<< Wireless Devices

Normally, the TP-Link range extender will send a DHCP server request when connecting to the wireless router and can receive a response from the router, the extender will turn off its own DHCP server, and all clients will get IP addresses from the router. Then the clients can access the router’s network and can log into the extender’s web management page to manage the extender.

If you router can access the internet, but the wireless devices after the extender cannot access the internet, then in this case, you may need to turn off the Smart DHCP feature on the extender.

 

How to turn off Smart DHCP

In some cases, even if your TP-Link wireless device has connected to the front device with a DHCP server enabled, it may still think that there is no server in the network for whatever reason, and then it will turn on its own DHCP server. The clients will get IP addresses from it instead of the front device, which may cause the devices to be unable to access the front device’s network. In this case, you can manually turn off the Smart DHCP feature on your TP-Link device.

Log into the web management page of your TP-Link device, go to the DHCP Server page, disable the DHCP Server feature, and click Save to apply the settings.  

 

Note: When you change the DHCP Sever settings, all clients will temporarily disconnect from the network.

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Comment

Thank you

Hello, World ! Wi-Fi

Please add the options to disable Smart DHCP to the WPA line of PowerLine Adapters - e.g. WPA8630P - this feature is incredibly problematic when it can't be disabled.  The UI here is exactly what people are looking for!

Please add DHCP disable option to TP-WR820 2.0 (in Range Extender mode).

In Range Extender mode, DHCP is ON by default and checkbox is gray, so it is impossible to change to OFF.

 

(I somehow managed DHCP checkbox to switch OFF by quickly pressing before it went gray but this setting is lost after device is reset.)

I'm using the last firmware available from 2021-07-22.

 

Thanks

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