Peplink Surf SOHO Initial Configuration

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Michael Horowitz

If you own a Surf SOHO and want to start from scratch , it can be reset to factory defaults with System → Configuration → Restore Factory Settings button. If you can’t logon to the router, look for the small reset button on the back of the router. It is, literally, a pinhole and marked with a white circular arrow. Press the button in, with a paper clip, for at least 10 seconds and the router should reboot to factory fresh state.

Before pressing the reset button, both the status and WiFi lights are green. During the reset and reboot process the lights go through these stages:

  1. The status light is off and the WiFi light blinks green
  2. The status light is solid red and the WiFi light is off
  3. The status light is sold green and the WiFi light is off
  4. Finally, the status light is solid green and the WiFi light is blinking green

You can tell that the router was reset by the Wi-Fi SSID that it broadcasts. The default is PEPWAVE_xxxx where xxxx is the last four characters of the serial number. This should show up in any app or operating system when looking for nearby Wi-Fi networks.

The Surf SOHO includes two copies of its operating system (called firmware). A factory reset, resets both copies of the firmware. The versions of the two installed copies do not change, just their configuration. Each is reverted to a factory fresh state.

New Surf SOHO owners can download the User Manual from Peplink at There are different downloads for different hardware editions of the Surf SOHO. The first release is known as HW1 (hardware version 1). The second release is known as HW2 and the third release of the hardware is referred to as MK3. If you are dealing with an older, first generation model, note that it can only run firmware version 6. The two later hardware versions can run both versions 7 and 8 of the firmware.

STRATEGY: As I describe on the new router page, I think it is best to make some initial configuration changes to any new router while the new router is off-line (not connected to the Internet). Also, the first few times any new router goes online, it is safer for it to be sitting behind an existing router. To do this, connect an Ethernet cable from the WAN port of the new router to a LAN port of the existing router.

TERMINOLOGY: WAN refers to the Internet, it stands for Wide Area Network. LAN refers to the network of computing devices in your home/office. It means Local Area Network.

The only requirement for configuring the Surf SOHO is a web browser. Any recent browser should be fine. You could use a phone or tablet, but a computer is better, both because typing is easier on a keyboard, as opposed to glass, and because the web interface is designed for a large screen. Any computer should work, even a Chromebook. Peplink does offer a mobile app, but the initial configuration requires the web interface.

NOTE: Only once have I had an issue with a web browser extension. One page of the Peplink web interface (I think it was the Event Log display) does not display completely if uBlock Origin is enabled. Just the one page. Beats me why. Disabling uBlock Origin for the Peplink web interface fixes this.

One thing you will need, at least at first, is some patience. There are a lot of steps. And, the web interface has an unusual quirk, oftentimes clicking on a SAVE button is not sufficient to actually save the changes you made. An extra step is normally needed: clicking on an Apply Changes button in the black horizontal stripe across the top of the screen. The Apply Changes button is hidden before any changes are made and becomes visible only when you need to push it. On the upside, this lets you make multiple changes and apply/install them all at once. If you change your mind after SAVEing a change and before APPLYing it, you can back out the pending changes at the home screen (aka Dashboard).

Two things we do not need to do with a Surf SOHO are disabling WPS and UPnP. No Peplink router supports WPS which is great for security. Likewise, Peplink is the very rare company that disables UPnP out of the box. Likewise, both NAT-PMP and Remote Administration are disabled by default, both of which are good for security.

FUTURE UPDATE: July 2, 2018: Peplink routers can save all the current settings in an external .conf file. The large number of click-here-type-this steps that follow can be too much for some people. With that in mind, a reader of this site suggested that I supply a pre-configured .conf file. He went so far as to verify that the .conf files are not locked down by MAC address or the serial number of the router. I would do this, except that my only spare Surf SOHO is an old version 1, which can only run firmware version 6. If ever get my hands on a new Surf SOHO, I’ll do some initial configuring and post a .conf file here.

This was originally written for firmware version 7, the changes in version 8 are not drastic.

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