What Is The WPS Button On My Router?


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What Is The WPS Button On My Router?

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If you have a wireless router and poked around it you may have come upon a wireless button or you’re looking at the manual to see how you can fix your router and while reading it you came across the term WPS. This may have led you to question its purpose or whether it can solve your router problem for you.

A WPS button is present on the back of your router and it will give you a faster and cleaner experience when it comes to making connections between your wireless devices and your router.

What Does The WPS Button Do?

A WPS button is used to make it easier for the router to connect to your devices.

If you are tired of putting those awful passwords on devices again and again then you can just press the WPS button and it will connect to your devices automatically by transferring the WPS security key to them.

It only works for wireless networks that use encrypted passwords with WPA2 Personal or WPA Personal protocols. They won’t work with devices that are using WEP security as they can be hacked pretty easily with basic skills.

Where is the WPS button on my router?

The location of the WPS button generally depends on which company’s device you are using and what’s the model of that device. Most of the time it is usually placed at the backside of your router. 

What Is A WPS?

WPS stands for ‘Wi-Fi Protected Setup’. It was originally made for homeowners who didn’t know much about wireless security and could easily add their wi-fi to any device on their own. It was made back in 2007 by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It has in total 4 modes through which,

  1. WPS Pin Method
  2. WPS Push Button Method
  3. USB Method
  4. Near Field Communication Method

WPS Pin Method

This is the method which we all are aware of. The pin is attached to someone below the device on a sticker on the router. That pin needs to be entered at the network’s access point. This mode is mandatory hence making it a flaw of WPS.

Push Button Method

In this method, to use the wi-fi you’ll have to push a button. This button works in three ways depending on your device, and the company and model of your router.

  1. Virtual WPS Push Button: Some modems or routers have their own system/ application which you can download. You can then connect your device using that app by following basic procedures. By pushing just a button on your phone you can access the Wi-Fi.
  2. A Basic Push Button: This is present behind the router.
  3. Two WPS Push Button: Some modems require the person to push the button both at the access point (back of the router) and on the person’s device to connect to it.

But on most devices, the basic push-button is used. Once you push the button, the discovery mode will turn off as soon as your device is connected to the router. There could be a 2 or 3 minute delay.

Near Field Communication(NFC) Method 

In this, the user will have to bring the device to be connected and needs to be close to the access point in order to allow it to allow NFC. 

USB Method

In this a user has to use the USB device to transfer data from the access point (router) to the device or vice versa, the wi-fi needs to be connected. This mode is optional and not all devices have this.

The first two modes i.e.  WPS pin method and push button method are covered by WPS certification. And the last two modes are known as out-of-band methods as information is also transferred to channels other than the wi-fi device. The USB method was denounced by the Alliance’s certification testing.

Is A WPS Button Better Than The WPS Pin?

If you have the WPS button option enabled, you won’t have to worry about hackers. How is that? Well, I’ve divided its answer into the three portions,

  1. If you’ve connected a device to a router before using a WPS password, you’ve likely experienced the horrors of default router passwords. These are usually printed somewhere in the back and contain a long string of letters, numbers, and symbols that you need to enter to use the router.
  2. The password is set this way in order to make it harder for hackers to crack your router. For example, if your router password was set to an easy password like ‘admin’ it could be cracked in like a second using just basic skill sets and tools.
  3. These strings of complex passwords are a strong get-go to secure your router but people don’t have a habit of changing it. This means someone can easily access your wi-fi by reading the password on the back of your router. 

How Is A WPS Button Better Than A WPS Pin?

Here’s why I personally prefer a WPS button over a password. 

WPS ButtonWPS Pin
The router can only be connected to any device with the help of physical touch. The initial pin is about eight digits. The router checks the first 4 pins separately from the last 4 pins. This makes it easier to guess the combination through brute force.
This can not be hacked and the only time a person can use this without your permission is by pressing the button.If the hackers get the first 4 pins, then hacking would become very easy.
In order to connect the router to the devices you just need to press the button once.You have to put the confusing string of passwords everything you need to connect to a device.
A WPS button is not activated all the time and can not be exploited easily.A password can be hacked at any time and any number of times.

Ways Which You Can Use To Connect Your Device

Connecting Devices Using WPS Push Button

Here is how you can connect to a device using WPS push button,

Note: Make sure to enable WPS on both the device and router. 

  1. Press the WPS button on the router.
  2. Press the WPS button on the client’s device. 

Note: Make sure to press it within 2 minutes or else the WPS router will turn off on its own.

The device would be connected to the Wi-fi. 

Connecting Devices Using WPS Client Pin

In order to use this method, it is important that you know the WPS pin of your client’s connecting device. It is generally found on the settings of the client’s device.

  1. Go to your router’s administrative interface i.e. http://192.168.1.1 via any search engine. 
  2. Go to WPS configuration.
  3. Go to the registration page and enter the device’s PIN and press register.

Your device should automatically be connected to your router through WPS via this configuration.

Pros And Cons Of WPS Button

Here is a detailed layout of the pros and cons of WPS so that you can determine whether it is handy or not.

ProsCons
It is pretty straightforward. How? Where many modems require you to enter a confusing string of passwords in order to connect to it, by pressing just a button you can easily press a button and connect to the wi-fi within seconds. It is not 100% secure. There have been cases reported where there have been brute force attacks leading WPS to become open to attacks. For this reason, many people disable WPS when they first buy the router.
It is user friendly. Even a beginner can easily use this. Setting a network should be simple for users, especially those who don’t know anything about gadgets or technology. It’s great for little kids or boomers.Can be easily activated. Anyone with physical access to your router can activate WPS with the pin or just by pressing the button. You’ll need to keep a device tucked away securely.
It is quick. Have guests over and they all are asking for you to connect their phones? By just pressing one WPS button you can connect the devices all at once.It does not work with the WEP protocol. WEP has been out there for a long time. It is a security protocol but once WPA2 took over the horse’s rein. Users who still have old hardware can not use WPS as they both complement each other. 
Along with WPS, EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) in WPA2 which will make the user’s experience secure and provides encrypted transmission of your data.While connecting your device, unintended devices which are in the range can also be connected. 

Can be difficult to add non-WPS devices to the network. 

Should You Use WPS?

Most users found WPS very useful. But if you are worried about your security then the only solution is to buy a router that does not have a WPS system. Why? Well even if people disable WPS, some devices still have it activated without you knowing.

People who use this claim that it saves them the hassle and time which is involved in putting long passwords in devices in order to connect to the network.

Whether you want to use WPS or not, once you’ve set it up, make sure to disable WPS. There have been only a few cases of hacking that have been reported.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is my device compatible with the WPS push button?

Ans. All devices are compatible with the WPS push button system. The Wi-Fi Direct specification has this requirement in which it is mandatory for all devices to support the push button method.

Q. Do all routers have a WPS button?

Ans. Not all routers will have a WPS button but many of them have it. Nowadays it is very common for companies to add a WPS button on the routers. 

Q. How to enable WPS on the router if the WPS button does not work?

Ans. Follow the following steps in order to enable WPS using the pin,

  1. Open your search engine and type http://192.168.1.1
  2. Go to the admin page of the router.
  3. Go to WPS configuration, press ‘Enable WPS’ and select enable.
  4. Set ‘AP Pin’ or ‘STA Pin’ as WPS mode,
  5. Enter the WPS Pin on the client’s device 
  6. Click on Register/WPS Connect or Enroll Button.

Q. How to know that WPS is enabled?

Ans. You can verify if your router has WPS enabled on it in 4 ways,

  1. Check the WPS indicator light. If the WPS is enabled, the light would be on.
  2. Check the button. If the WPS is enabled, the button would be pressed.
  3. If WPS is enabled, the client’s device will ask for a pin.
  4. If you have access to the network admin system, by visiting http://192.168.1.1 and then to the router configuration screen and see if WPS is enabled

Q. What if the WPS connection fails?

Ans. If the WPS connection fails, check the below things,

  1. Make sure WPS is enabled on the router.
  2. Bring the client’s device close to the router.
  3. Check whether the network is working.
  4. Check which WPS connecting mode you have enabled i.e. button or pin. Perhaps you were using the wrong mode.
  5. If all fails then contact the customer center of your router.

Conclusion

In summary, the WPS button was made to ease the process of connecting to your device. This method is great for people who have little to no knowledge about tech. Most of us connect our devices to the internet by entering the password or pin present at the backside of our device. This was introduced back in 2006.

Sometimes you may think it is a hassle to connect devices using the long password again and again. That’s where the WPS push button comes in. 

But while it may have its advantages, it also has some disadvantages. It is susceptible to cyber attacks. But if you have a home network where high security isn’t required, then you are good to go.

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