Why and How To Use The WPS Button on A Wireless Router | The Trust Compass
WPS (wi-fi protected setup) button in a wireless router

Why and How To Use The WPS Button on A Wireless Router

Setting up a WiFi router at home is actually a pretty simple thing to do, provided you follow all the instructions and really go through the manual once. Most routers today make it easy to set them up, using web interfaces and online manuals that lay out all the different options you can follow and choose from. 

Get to know more about how a router can help you get connected to multiple devices around your house with this helpful piece from the experts at TTC.

One button that most of us have noticed is the WPS button. And the most common questions associated with this button are what does it do? How does it work? What value does it add to your router? And so on. The button actually has a lot of utility to it and can be used for some very specific functions which we will be looking at in detail:

What is WPS?

The term stands for WiFi Protected Set-up. Through this feature, the connections between any wireless device and its router are made faster and easier, which is why it is a standard network security protocol feature. Any WiFi network which uses a password protection option can make use of WPS, because the basic idea behind it is to make wireless connections more protected and safeguarded from external hackers.

When you connect a tablet, laptop or even a mobile phone to a wireless network, you need to know the password to be able to connect to it. WPS helps with making this process simpler and more convenient.

Comprehensive Table Showing WPS Button Enabled Routers:

No

Product

WPS Enabled

Picture

Details

1

Weight - 4.11 Pounds

Lan Ports - 7

Wireless comp - 802.11ac

Yes

2

Weight - 1.25 Pounds

Lan Ports - 4

Wireless comp - 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Yes

3

Weight - 3.35 Pounds

Lan Ports - 4

Wireless comp - 802.11 b/g/n

Yes

4

Weight - 1.35 Pounds

Lan Ports - 4

Wireless comp - 802.11ac

Yes

5

Weight - 3.25 Pounds

Lan Ports - 8

Wireless comp - 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Yes

6

Weight - 1.54 Pounds

Lan Ports - 4

Wireless comp - 801.11 ac

Yes

7

Weight - 2 Pounds

Lan Ports - 4

Wireless comp - 801.11 ac /n/a/ b/ g

Yes

8

Weight - 3.9 Pounds

Lan Ports - 4

Wireless comp - 801.11 ac

Yes

How to use Wi-Fi Protected setup Button?

Let's look at what exactly WPS does: 

1. Step one would be to press the WPS button which is present on the router, which helps with discovering new devices which are open for connection. Next, you can choose whatever device you have and pick the connection of your choice. You'll notice that your device isn't asking you for a password to connect to the wireless network and it happens automatically. 

2. Some wireless devices like printers have their own inbuilt WPS button. In this case, all you have to do is first turn on the WPS button on the router, then on the device you want to connect it to. The device will automatically remember this connection for future use and won't require the WPS button to make a seamless connection later on. 

3. There are some routers that don't have an actual WPS button on the router, but still offer WPS connection services. Such services can be accessed through an unchangeable WPS 8-digit pin which can be accessed through the router's setup page. Once entered, this pin can be used to make a WPS connection active even if there isn't a button for it. 

The first two methods mentioned are the quickest ways to make a WPS connection, which is why many households or commercial buildings which cater to multiple device connection purchase routers which have WPS buttons on them. 

Where is this button located? 

Image showing the location of a WPS Button in a wireless router

In recent times, a lot of different models of routers have been released which have an inbuilt, automatic WPS connection authorised. The routers with physical buttons usually find them situated at the rear end of the router, close to the USB ports and other LAN and WAN ports. It's a small on/off button that can be handled quite easily. 

Another important thing to note is that the WPS on/off button is the same as the WiFi on/off button on some routers. However, some of them have a separate button for the WPS feature and the wireless on/off feature, so it's important to note what type of router you are using. 

What devices are compatible with WPS? 

Almost all modern devices which allow wireless connectivity are also compatible with WPS. Right from laptops, tablets and smartphones to wireless printers, repeaters and range extenders, all of these are built to be compatible with WPS and the connection is pretty much automatically established. 

Operating system support 

Worldwide, Windows is the most used operating system for laptops and home desktops, which is great because Windows is very much compatible with WPS connection. The same goes for Android, which is not the most used but is definitely one of the most popular operating systems used in tablets and smartphones. Android is also very much compatible with WPS, and most mid-range to high-end models come with this feature. 

The only glitch comes with Apple’s iOS operating system and MacBook OS which do not support WPS and require a wireless password to be entered even if the router allows WPS. 

The problem with WPS 

Problems with WiFi Protected Set-up option in a wifi router

In terms of creating convenience and utility for the immediate users of any router, the WPS connection does not fall behind and delivers what it promises. However, it does have its own glitches. History has shown that the 8-digit WPS security pin is actually quite easy to hack using brute-force attacking strategies. Any experienced or even learning-stage hacker will be able to hack into a wireless network and a extrapolate information because of WPS. 

If you're using a direct button-activated WPS connection, then it is needless to say that anyone is the range of connectivity can easily make the best use of your wireless connection, and not have to pay a cent for it. This is probably why most people try not to use WPS while in a commercial space that is easily accessible to outsiders, so that the wireless facility is not misused. 

WPS also makes your devices vulnerable to infiltration from foreign sources that manage to hack into your wireless connection. So, if you have any important and confidential information stored on a device, it's best not to connect to a WPS enabled network. 

Apart from the threat of hacking, WPS was devised with the idea of making wireless networks more accessible and feasible to those who were using it on a regular and frequent basis. With most home-based WiFi routers coming with external WPS buttons today, getting your network onto it is no big deal, but it's better you make sure that there's no way any external source can misuse this feature and get onto your network unauthorised and without proper consent. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on WPS Button

How can WPS be enabled with PBC?

Is it important to have Wi-Fi Protected Setup?

How can WPS be enabled with PIN?

Do all routers have a WPS button and where is it usually found?

Can WPS be used while connecting to any device?


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