What Does WPS Mean on WIFI Router?

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What Does WPS Mean?

If you have set up a wireless network in your home, you have probably encountered WPS.

You may have noticed a button marked WPS among the ethernet ports on the back of the router or the term WPS in the configuration menu.

Ever wondered what it means or stands for? Or which operating systems and devices provide support for it?

WPS or WIFI Protected Setup is a wireless security standard that aims to make the connection between a router and wireless devices easier and faster.

As the name suggests, it can only work for wireless networks. It uses a password encrypted with WPA2 personal or WPA personal Wi-Fi security protocols.

WPS is designed to simplify the process of connecting devices to WIFI.

Whenever you want to connect your laptop or another smart device to your WIFI, you must go to your device settings, pick your wireless network, enter your security password, and press OK. It’s connected.

You have to go through this process for your device to connect to the WIFI. With WPS, you can successfully connect to a network without going through that process or entering a password.

It sets up a wireless network with secure WPA data encryption and an SSID and authentication, doing all the work for you.

How Does WPS Work?

You know what it means, but do you know how it works? How exactly does it simplify the wireless connection process?

The exact steps can vary between devices, and not all devices will automatically connect upon selecting the Wi-Fi network after pressing the WPS button. WPS facilitates the connection process by eliminating the need to enter a password manually, but the device may still require user action to initiate the WPS connection.

Any other device in the house that has a WPS button, like range Wi-Fi extenders or boosters and wireless printers, will also connect to the network faster.

All you need to do is connect them by pressing the WPS buttons on the devices without inputting any data.

WPS achieves this by automatically sending the password, and the devices will remember them in the future. This means that you even need to use the button again.

If you have devices that don’t have a WPS button to press, you will need to enter an eight-device code.

The code can be found on the WPS configuration page; the user can’t alter it once it is created.

WPS is enabled on most routers, but some need to be turned on using the router firmware and administration user interface. In some models, WPS can be enabled by turning one button on or off.

If you have this type of model, press the button to turn the device on or off. Long press the button three times, and WPS will turn on.

While WPS simplifies connecting devices to a Wi-Fi network, it has known vulnerabilities, such as the PIN method, which attackers can exploit. Users should be aware of these risks and consider disabling WPS if not in use or if their router supports a more secure connection method.

Operating Systems That Provide Support for WPS

WPS adoption is not very popular among operating systems. However, the most crucial OSs, such as Android and Windows, work with it.

Since 2007, Windows has had native WPS support. This support was implemented in Windows Vista and is now supported by Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.

Android introduced native WPS support in version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and continued to support it until Android 8 (Oreo). Starting with Android 9 (Pie), WPS support was removed to encourage the use of more secure Wi-Fi connection methods.

WPS doesn’t work with iOS and Apple’s OS X operating systems.

Other Devices That Work with WPS

WPS support is also found in other networking equipment. Modern wireless printers, for instance, feature a WPS button for establishing fast connections.

Repeaters and range extenders also have WPS to connect to your network. Other devices include smartphones, tablets, laptops, and 2-in-1 devices, with the help of their operating systems.

In Conclusion

While WPS will make connecting to your network easier and faster, the pin is insecure and can be easily hacked.

Whether you’ve used the pin or not, the router still generates it, making WPS highly vulnerable to hackers and brute force attacks. So, even with all its advantages, there is still a need to improve security.

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