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.



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.



Is there a way to disable Smart DHCP permanently?  Since getting my x20 setup, I have been having connectivity issues on my network and suspect it has something to do with Smart DHCP.  I have tried turning it off on the app but after a day or so, I check and it is back on again.  Thanks.

Hi, can you please consider adding option to disable Smart DHCP in AP-only mode on Deco X20? Deco X20 is great extension to existing home network as AP thanks to roaming, scalability and ability to have wired backhaul. However, many of us CAN NOT use Deco X20 as router as our ISPs simply provide their units that handle routing and DHCP server. In case these devices are shortly restarted/updated and DHCP server goes down; Deco X20 in AP mode will engage Smart DHCP and go crazy and start assigning IPs from its own range which will be completely off in ISP device managed network resulting in totally defunct network and upset customer.

Please, hide that feature, mark it experimental and expert user only but add it. It is needed so much for anyone who wants control over their own home network.

Which models of range extender have smart DHCP?  I am trying to build a separate network off the end of a WiFI connection.



Please add feature to disable smart dhcp on Archer C64, on AP mode. I have 3 AP and its extremely problematic after coming out of power blockout.


The only option I have at the moment is to replace these 3 Archer C64 with something else. And it is costly considering I have bought these APs recently, and I have to travel overseas to redo the setup.


Extremely annoying and extremely poor design decision having smart dhcp without disable feature! I've already wasted tremendous time just for this insane feature!

Please, please, someone disable this feature in AP mode by default. We are a service provider that manages WiFi routers for customers. We upgrade routers for customers 2 times a year, and when our router reboots, the Archer router connected to our router by CPI Security, changes its IP address back to default, starts advertising a DHCP subnet that is not the same as our router, all before our router comes back online. When our router is ready again, customers devices get an IP address from the Archer router, which indicates an internet failure because they cannot access internet on the wrong subnet. 


The Archer router is installed by CPI Security, and we do not have access to that router. CPI will not work with us on this install process. 


TP-Link, this "Smart DHCP server" feature is not smart and in all 26 years of IT experience, I have never seen this before.

This feature is a disaster on my recent installation of 3x Archer C64 in AP mode. When power is back after power blackout, the unmanaged Network Switch (on which they are connected to) locks up for some reason due to multiple C64 smart DHCPs present, while the main DHCP service still booting up. When the Network switch locks up, no communications can pass through any of its ports, and therefore no internet for the building.


As I've already flown overseas after installation, this event has caused me great grief and costs for months, as it was extremely difficult to troubleshoot remotely without tech person on site.


I have tried to replace the Network Switch 3 times without luck.


Have there been option to turn off the Smart DHCP, or have I bought different AP brand, I would not have this man made trouble for months.


I could not believe there's no OFF option for Smart DHCP. Those people who would turn it off are people who knows what they are doing-- so why not provide them upfront?


This Smart DHCP is dumb and life is so much better without it.