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What Is WPS and What Are Its Characteristics?

what is wps

You may have seen the word WPS in the wireless router’s setup menus or a button labeled WPS on the back of the router if you’ve ever set up a wireless router manually. What is WPS, though, exactly? Just how does WPS function? Which platforms and hardware are compatible with WPS?

“What Does Wps Mean?”

Wi-Fi Protected Setup, or WPS for short, is a network security standard that makes connecting devices to a wireless network easier. By eliminating the need to enter lengthy passwords, it expedites the process of adding devices to a user’s Wi-Fi network.

As an important caveat, WPS only deals with the transmission of data for establishing a connection between a router and a client device. Wi-Fi connectivity is not managed by this device.

Following its introduction in 2006 by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the WPS standard has been accepted by all major vendors of Wi-Fi networking hardware. The upshot is that WPS is standard on all modern wireless routers and Wi-Fi mesh networks.

The Wi-Fi Alliance is an international organization dedicated to advancing Wi-Fi standards and accrediting wireless networking hardware and software. Some of the well-known names among its 600+ members are Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Samsung, Intel, Broadcom, and others.

In What Way Does WPS Function?

A Wi-Fi network’s name and password are required in order to connect a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or another device to the network. If you don’t know the password, you won’t be able to access the network (also known as the WPA-PSK key).

WPS’s goal is to shorten the time it takes to enter the required data, so the procedure itself is not complicated. Some of the ways it does this are listed below:

There is no need to input a password while connecting your mobile device (tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc.) to the wireless network. To achieve this, activate device discovery by pressing the WPS button on your router. After there, choose the network your gadget will use to connect to the internet. The unit will automatically link up when used.

See an example of its operation below: Windows 10’s built-in WPS feature, and how to utilize it to connect to wireless networks,

The WPS button allows you to quickly connect devices that support it, such as wireless printers and range extenders. Press the WPS button on the router and then on the devices, you want to connect to the wireless network. There is no data entry required for this procedure.

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As soon as you connect via WPS, the network password is transmitted automatically, and your device stores it securely for future use. In the future, they won’t need the WPS button to connect to the same network as before.

A personal identification number (PIN) of eight digits is still another option. When WPS is activated, routers create a PIN code on their own. The WPS PIN is displayed in the WPS settings menu. There are gadgets that will require that PIN even if they don’t have a WPS button. If you enter the password for the wireless network, they will authenticate and join it.

The final option also requires a PIN of eight digits. Devices with WPS functionality but no dedicated WPS button can still create a client PIN. The wireless router will then ask for this PIN when adding a new device to the network.

However, although the first two techniques are quick, the latter two offer no advantages in terms of speed when connecting devices to your wireless network. The Wi-Fi password entry process is just as time-consuming as entering the required eight-digit PIN. The fourth technique is the slowest of all because it requires entering the PIN provided by the client device into the router’s wireless settings section.

When prompted, Enter the Wps Pin

Both the Wi-Fi router in charge of the network and the client device can produce the WPS PIN, which consists of eight digits. The screenshot below shows a sample of the WPS PIN produced by an ASUS router.

When prompted by a device’s setup wizard to connect to Wi-Fi, enter this PIN. On the other hand, a sticker with the WPS PIN, which is usually eight digits long and can be input into the router’s settings interface, can be attached to devices that support WPS.

Standards for WPS Password Protection

Only wireless networks protected by the WPA/WPA2 or WPA3 Personal security protocols, including those that require a password, are compatible with WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup).

Wireless Protected Setup (WPS) is not compatible with wireless networks that still employ the antiquated WEP security protocol, which can be broken by any hacker with a laptop and some spare time.

Exactly What Are the Pluses of Wps?

The following advantages are gained when connecting devices to a network with WPS:

Assuming the WPS button is used on the router and client device, the process is speedy.
Easy to do, and no special knowledge or abilities are needed. All that’s required is to push the WPS button on both the router and the client device.

Significant backing. WPS is supported by all routers and the vast majority of network devices. Furthermore, WPS can be used to quickly connect to a Wi-Fi network on popular operating systems like Windows, Android, and Linux.

If WPS, Should It Be Enabled or Disabled?

As a general rule, WPS is turned on automatically by wireless routers. The goal is to simplify the process of creating a network and connecting devices to it.

Therefore, if you are concerned about security, you should disable WPS on your router once you have set up your network and added the devices you want on your Wi-Fi.

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If You Have a Router, Where Do You Find the WPS Button?

Knowing where the WPS button is on your router is a prerequisite to connecting your devices wirelessly through that method. The WPS button, as on our recommended Wi-Fi 6 router ASUS RT-AX58U, is typically located on the router’s rear.

The button is obviously labeled, and it is typically located close to the WAN port on ASUS routers, which is used to connect the router to the internet.

In this respect, D-Link routers are not dissimilar. In the case of a D-Link DIR-X1560 AX1500, for instance, the WPS button is situated on the rear, not far from the power input.

When it comes to Linksys routers, the WPS button is typically blue and located on the back of the device, close to where all of the Ethernet connections are. The WPS button on the widely used Linksys Dual-Band AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 router looks like this: (E7350).

TP-Link takes an alternative method. One of their most popular models, the TP-Link Archer AX20, includes a WPS button on the back that serves a dual purpose: a single push starts WPS, while multiple presses (two seconds or more) toggle the Wi-Fi on and off. All TP-Link routers released in a previous couple of years are affected.

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