There are numerous terminologies used daily for several different technical products. Most tech savvy users are sometimes fully aware of these terms and can comprehend the differences or benefits of each feature. However, most home users don’t always fully understand the purpose of certain features.
Routers are common these days and are present in almost every home to create a central network for your devices in order to provide them with internet access. Most users need to configure their routers on their own but in order to do that, they need to know what most features are and how they can benefit from them.
One of these things is WPS, which essentially stands for WiFi Protected Setup. You may have come across this word in either your configuration page, or on the back of your router along with the Ethernet ports etc.
In simple words, it’s basically a network security standard to make connections between a router and a device a lot easier and faster. WPS works only for networks that are encrypted with either WPA or WPA 2 security protocols. This is because the WEP security protocol can easily be hacked into with simple tools and hence is a less reliable form of security for your router. To understand the importance of WPS, let’s first understand the general process of connecting a wireless device to a network. You look for the SSID, and put in the password for the WiFi.
You will need both the name of the network and the security key. But to simplify the process, you can also use WPS. In order to do this, first press the WPS button on your router which is generally placed either at the back or the side. Usually it’s enabled by default depending on the model. In case it isn’t, you can enable it through the configuration page of your router or using the WPS button. Once it’s on, go to the device you want to connect and select the network you want to connect to. The device will automatically connect to the wireless network without entering a password.
Some devices such as printers usually have a WPS button too. You can connect these to your WiFi by first pressing the WPS on the router and then on the devices. Once the devices have connected, they will remember the password and will automatically connect in the future without having to do anything more. Another method involves using an 8 digit pin generated by the router and can’t be changed by the user.
You can find this pin on the WPS configuration tab in your router’s settings. Devices that support WPS will sometimes ask for this pin. This pin however can sometimes be easily hacked by malicious users who want to gain access to your router. It is important to make sure that the router is in a safe place so nobody else can use it to connect their devices and hog your bandwidth.