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What does the WPS button on the router do?

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Setting up a WiFi router is pretty easy these days. More often than not, you plug in the WAN cable, enter the credentials your ISP has given you, and you’re good to go.

Setting up a WiFi network to use that internet wirelessly is also relatively easy. However, depending on how long your password is, you might not want to type it in whenever you want to connect a new device. This is where WPS comes in to help you out.

In this article, we’re taking a look at what is WPS and what does pressing the WPS button on your router do?

Also read: Can your WiFi get hacked? Is sharing WiFi passwords a bad idea?

What is WPS?

WPS stands for WiFi Protected Setup. Simply put, it’s a hassle-free and passwordless way for you to connect different devices to your router. 

Default router passwords are far too easy to be left unchanged, and changing them to an obnoxious string of characters isn’t any better. However, since these randomly generated passwords are pretty strong, changing them won’t serve much purpose other than possibly making it easy for an attacker to get into your network. 

Besides, most people who have WiFi routers in their house don’t exactly have the technical know-how to protect their networks, which means they end up using the default one. Even if you have changed your WiFi password, it isn’t always convenient to type them.

What does the WPS button do?

The WPS button essentially assumes that everyone in your router’s range is safe to connect to and lets them in, meaning that instead of typing in a password, you can just press the WPS button, and your router will accept any incoming connections. 

Once the WPS button is pressed, the router starts looking for a compatible device. The router pairs up with it if one is found, finishing the connection process. Every router has a timeout setting set up by default, meaning if not compatible devices are found by then, the WPS feature automatically shuts off. 

Where is the WPS button located?

Depending on your router, the WPS button can be different. Most household routers tuck the button away at the back to keep it out of the way but approachable when needed. You might have to look around to spot where yours is located. 

Some routers have inset WPS and Reset buttons.

Connecting to a WiFi network using WPS

Connecting to WiFi using WPS is as simple as pressing the WPS button and connecting to the router from your device. However, that doesn’t work consistently. 

Not every device, however, is WPS enabled. Older devices that don’t support WPS won’t even be able to understand what’s going on, and some newer devices are shipping without support for WPS. As long as your device supports WPS, pressing the button is all you need to connect to your WiFi network. If it doesn’t, typing in the password is your only option.

Also read: WiFi doesn’t have a valid IP configuration: 10 Fixes

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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