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The WPS button on your router allows you to connect devices to your wireless network with the click of a button, without entering your Wi-Fi password.
Pressing the WPS button on your router allows your router to discover new devices.
Typically you will hold down the WPS button until the light flashes on the button. Usually, just a few seconds are enough.
Now, which device to connect to your router depends on what you do next?
So on devices like laptops, desktops, and tablets, for example, a physical WPS button is unlikely to be available as it would normally connect via WPS on your touchscreen.
However, if you have a wireless printer, for example, or a set-top box, these devices usually have a physical WPS button.
When the router is in discovery mode by pressing the WPS button (or touch screen) on the device, the device will automatically connect to the wireless network.
During the connection process, the password will be sent to these devices, and the devices will store that password for future use, and you will not have to press the WPS button again.
- What Is WPS?
- What Devices Are Compatible With WPS?
What Is WPS?
The term stands for WiFi Protected Setup. Through this feature, the connection between any wireless device and your router is made faster and more comfortable, making it a standard network security protocol feature. Any WiFi network that uses the password protection option can use WPS, as the basic idea behind this is to make wireless connections more secure and protected from outside hackers.
When you connect a tablet, laptop, or even a mobile phone to a wireless network, you need to know the password to connect. WPS helps make this process simpler and more convenient.
Who Invented WPS and When?
WPS was designed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and launched in 2006, intending to enable home users using wireless network passwords to connect new wireless devices to their wireless networks quickly. And I don’t want to feel with the security settings.
Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit association that promotes Wi-Fi technology and certifies Wi-Fi products. It has over 600 members and includes many well-known companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Samsung, Intel, Broadcom, and others. All relevant providers of network equipment are also part of this organization.
Where Is This Button Located?
In recent times, several different models of routers have been released, including an authorized built-in automatic WPS connection. Routers with physical buttons generally have them located on the back of the router, near the USB port and other LAN and WAN ports. It is a small on/off button that can be operated quite easily.
Another critical point is that the WPS on/off button is similar to the WiFi on/off button on some routers. However, some of them have a separate button for the WPS function and the wireless on/off function, so it is essential to consider what type of router you are using.
What Devices Are Compatible With WPS?
Almost all modern devices that allow wireless connectivity also supports WPS. From laptops, tablets, and smartphones to wireless printers, repeaters, and range extenders, all are designed to be WPS compliant, and the connection is established very automatically.
Operating System Support
Worldwide, Windows is the most widely used operating system for home laptops and desktops, which is excellent because Windows is much more compatible with a WPS connection. The same happens with Android, which is not the most used, but it is undoubtedly one of the most used operating systems on tablets and smartphones. Android is much more compatible with WPS, and most mid- to high-end models come with this feature.
The only flaw comes with Apple’s iOS operating system and MacBook OS, which do not support WPS and require a wireless password, even if the router allows WPS.
Read Also How to Reset a WiFi Router
What To Do If WPS Doesn’t Work
If the WPS connection fails, which happens occasionally, here are several different things you can try:
- Ensure that WPS is enabled on your router
- Move your router very close to your device
- Change WPA encryption mode to AES only
- Reset your router to factory settings
- Disable ipv6 and only use ipv4
- Reset your router with a pin in the reset hole on the back
Eventually, WPS is simply a mechanism to connect a device to a WPA or WPA2 Wi-Fi network.
However, there is a big “but” because, as we will see further, WPS does absolutely nothing for the overall security of your Wi-Fi network.
Is Wi-Fi Protected Setup Safe?
In all honesty, WPS doesn’t measure up when it comes to security concerns. WPS is a fair game for both online and offline attacks via brute force methods.
Let’s forget about the brute force attack for a moment. What prevents someone from helping your network (and Internet) by pressing the WPS button to connect? Similarly, once prompted, anyone can connect to your system before your protocol ends. They are eliminating security flaws or weaknesses.
The nail in the coffin is that once connected via WPS; you can view the network password in the Wireless Properties Network and Sharing Center. And everything is click. For all this convenience, there are a few security holes.
The most insecure of these methods is the PIN-based authentication method. If you want to use WPS instead of the pin-based version, then you should prefer the push-button method.
How To Disable WPS
The WPS option will be one of the WIRELESS configuration options. All routers are different, so you have to click on a few. This can be considered an advanced option on your router. It may also be called “Wi-Fi Protected Setup” instead of WPS. Our goal here is to turn it off and disable it otherwise.
WPS comes in two flavours. There is a pin version and a button version. The push-button version is much more secure because it requires someone to press the WPS button on the router to activate WPS. And it turns off automatically after a few minutes. The pin version is always activated and therefore very risky. Your router may allow you to disable WPS entirely or disable the PIN version.
At a minimum, we have to disable the WPS pin. The WPS pin method can be disabled, making the button method active. This is fine because the button must be physically pressed to turn on WPS temporarily.
What Will Happen After Disabling WPS On a WiFi Router?
WPS is an excellent example of the balance between comfort and security. WPS was designed with convenience in mind, which means it also compromises your security. WPS allows us to connect to a Wi-Fi network without having to know the network password. Just press the WPS button on the router, connect to the system, and you’re in. Unfortunately, WPS is insecure and can be used as a means for attackers to gain access to your network. That is why we disable WPS. Once disabled, you will need to use the traditional password method to add additional devices to your Wi-Fi network (less convenient), but your router will no longer be vulnerable to a WPS attack.
WPS Problem: PIN Is Not Secure and Easy To Hack
The WPS standard requires the use of a pin on your router. Even if you never use that PIN, the wireless router will generate it. As noted by security researcher Stephen Vihawk, the WPS pin is highly vulnerable to force attacks.
Routers store eight-digit PINs in two four-digit blocks. The router checks the first four digits separately from the previous four digits. A hacker can intercept the first four-digit block and move on to the second block. A smart hacker with the right tools can shorten the pin in 4 to 10 hours. Most hackers should shut it down in about a day. Once this pin is forced from the raw, they can connect to your wireless network and find your security key, even if it is complicated and protected with proper encryption, thus gaining full access to your network.
Other security researchers have revealed various programming and design flaws that make WPS insecure. You can read what they have to say here: We recommend that you don’t use WPS on your Wi-Fi router! We don’t want you to weave your crypto!
As you can see from this article, WPS is a troubled wireless network security standard. While this can make your life easier, it is also vulnerable to attack and can be more challenging to use with some devices. Before closing this article, please let us know if you have used WPS to connect your device to a wireless network. How good was it for you? Decided to shut it down due to its security vulnerabilities?
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