What is WPS on a Router?

Device connectivity has gone beyond those provided by mobile service providers. You can use either a mobile connection or a Wi-Fi connection to access the internet. Mobile connection offers a limited bandwidth range, while Wi-Fi is relatively swift and has more data volume.

To use a Wi-Fi connection, you must have a wireless router. A wireless router is configured to connect multiple devices to the internet. And when configuring your router, you will come across several terms in the configuration menu. Among them is WPS. So, what is WPS? We will be reviewing what WPS is and what it entails.

What is WPS?

Wi-Fi Protected Setup is a wireless network security standard that makes connecting a router and wireless devices accessible and swift. It is designed to eliminate fiddling with lengthy wireless network passwords and security settings when connecting a new wireless device to networks.

WPS is compatible only with wireless networks that use a password encrypted with the WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security protocols. Note that WPS does not work with wireless networks that use deprecated WEP security. A WEP security can be easily hacked with a basic set of tools and skills.

If you use a router, you cannot connect a device unless you know the network name – SSID and password – WPA-PSK Key. You can find WPS support on most networking devices.

For instance, most modern wireless printers have a WPS button for initiating a fast connection. Also, Range extenders or repeaters can be linked to a wireless network via WPS.

Devices like laptops, tablets, computers, smartphones, and 2-in-1 devices all have support for WPS with the help of a compatible operating system.

Ways WPS Connection Works

WPS simplifies the connection process between a router and a wireless device. To initiate a wireless connection, both your router and device must be in close range.

You must select the network you want to connect to on your device and enter its security password. There are currently two methods to initiate a WPS connection. One of the methods involves inputting the network password while the other does not.

  • WPS Connection with Network Password

This is the most popular way to connect a device to a WPS router. All WPS-enabled routers feature a PIN code that is automatically generated. This PIN code is on the WPS configuration page on your router, and you can not alter this pin.

Once you power on your router and select the network on your device, you will be required to the PIN to authenticate the connection. The password is an eight-digit PIN code.

  • WPS Connection without Network Password

To connect your device to a router, you will need to select the network you want to connect to and enter the security password. You can make a wireless connection without entering a network password:

  • Power on the router and wait for some seconds for it to boot
  • Press the WPS button on the router to turn on the discovery of new devices
  • On your device, select the network you want to connect to
  • A connection will automatically be made to link your device to the wireless network

Note that this connection does not require entering the network password. WPS automatically sends the network password to link the device. Also, it remembers the device for future use. You can also use the steps above to connect wireless printers with their own WPS button.

How to Find WPS on a Router

Generally, wireless routers manage wireless connection via WPS, and most modern routers have WPS support. On most routers, the WPS is enabled by default. However, you can manually enable the WPS on your router using either the router’s firmware and administration user interface or through a WPS button.

On most routers, the WPS button alongside the Ethernet ports is at the back of the router. Other brands of routers have their WPS button at the back of the router, although without text. Instead, they use the WPS symbol to describe it.

While on some, the WPS button is at the side or front of the router. Once you enable the WPS, you can connect your device wireless.

Alternatively, you can find the WPS button with other features on the router. Some routers share the same button for both WPS and powering on and off WI-Fi. To enable or disable WPS, long press the button for about three seconds for this kind of router. While powering on or off the WI-Fi, short press the button for a few seconds.

Conclusion

Generally, WPS is a wireless security standard that eases the connection between a router and devices. While most routers have their WPS button located at the back, others have it at the front or the side of the router. Nonetheless, one thing is similar with all routers: connecting devices via a WPS PIN code.

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