You have bought a new wireless router (Wi-Fi router) and configured it by yourself. Everything is done perfectly because you have done many times before.
However, you are seeing a new button on your wireless router called WPS, along with all other ports, such as Ethernet ports, USB ports as well as power and reset buttons.
Do you know what is it?
What Is WPS Button (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) On Your Router?
Do you know what WPS button is? What does WPS stand for? And how is the WPS button used?
What Does WPS Stand For?
WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, a wireless networking standard, allows you to make faster and easier connections between a router and wireless devices. WPS standard only works on wireless devices that support WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security methods. It does not work on devices that use WEP security method.
How Is The WPS Button Used?
Normally, if you want to connect a device to a wireless network, you must know the network name (or SSID) and the password (in case it’s not a secured wireless network). However, the WPS will simplify your connection process by passing “entering password step”.
1. In order to connect a device like your laptop or smartphone to a wireless network with WPS feature, press the WPS button on the router you want to connect to.
2. Next, go to your laptop or smartphone, select and connect to the wireless network name that belong to your router.
3. Your device will be automatically connected to the wireless network, without asking you to enter any security password. This method is working for all devices, including wireless range extenders or wireless printers. It will help you to make a very quick connection between your WPS router and wireless devices.
Notes: Many users still confusing about how to configure wireless printers with WPS method. And when you read “press WPS button” on the printer user guide, that’s mean press WPS button on your router, not on your printer. A simple way to connect a wireless printer to a wireless network is:
1. Put the printer nearby the wireless router. If your printer has a wireless button on the printer control panel, press and hold the button until the light starts to blink.
2. Press the WPS button on the wireless router. Wait up to two minutes while the wireless printer establishes a network connection with the wireless router.
If your printer has a network menu / wireless menu, start WPS setup from the menu.
3. Press the WPS button on your router within two minutes of starting the WPS setup on your wireless printer.
4. Your printer is now connected to the wireless network.
Setting Up A Printer On A Wi-Fi Protected (WPS) Network
Which Operating Systems Support For WPS?
Currently, Windows (from Windows Vista), Android (from Android 4.0 Ice Cream) and BlackBerry (BlackBerry 6) are supporting WPS, allows you to easily connect to a wireless network without entering any security password.
If you own a computer that’s running Mac OS X or an iPhone, then you can’t use the WPS feature because it doesn’t support. Most popular Linux distributions like Linux Mint or Ubuntu also don’t support WPS.
Why Wi-Fi Protected Setup Is Insecure?
Alongside the “Push Button Connect” of WPS feature, you can also enter an eight-digit PIN to connect to your wireless router. All wireless routers with WPS feature have an eight-digit PIN code. This PIN code is automatically generated by the router and can’t be changed. If your wireless router supporting WPS, but don’t have WPS button, the wireless connection could be established by entering an eight-digit PIN code.
However, rather than check all eight-digit PIN at once, many wireless routers only check first four digits of the PIN code. So, the WPS PIN code is very easy to guest with “brute force” method. Many routers don’t have time out function after several times of wrong WPS PIN is entered. By that, attackers could guess the PIN code over and over again. Do you want to check how secure is your password or PIN code? Click here!
The “Push Button Connect” of WPS feature still more secure than PIN method, because attackers only could access to your wireless network with physical access to your router and push the WPS button to connect.
How To Disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)?
By default, WPS is enabled on all wireless routers. If you want to disable WPS, access to your wireless router configuration page at 192.168.1.1 (could be different, depends on your router), find and disable WPS feature. The position of WPS feature is different, depends on the brand of router.
After reading this article, WPS is a faster and easier method to connect your device to a wireless network. However, the “enter PIN to access” method isn’t secure and could be attacked with the brute force method.
Meanwhile, the “Push Button Connect” feature of WPS is good enough to use as it can’t be attacked unless a physical attack.
So, if your wireless router allows to disable the PIN feature, it’s good to use WPS (with the button only, push to connect). There are a few wireless routers have this feature, consider before buying a new wireless router.