What is WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)?

WPS is short for Wi-Fi Protected Setup and it is a wireless networking standard that makes connections between a router and wireless devices faster and easier. It works only for wireless networks / routers that have WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security. WPS doesn't provide support for wireless networks using the deprecated WEPsecurity.

In a normal network setup, you can't connect a wireless device to a wireless network unless you know its network name (aka SSID) and its password (aka the WPA-PSK key). On the devices you must first pick the network you want to connect to and then enter its security password. This is where the WPS comes in to simplify the connection process.

There are several ways you can connect to a wireless network using WPS:

1. First, press the WPS button on your router to turn on the discovery of new devices. Then, go to your printer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and select the network you want to connect to. Your device gets automatically connected to the wireless network without entering the network password.

2. You may have devices like wireless printers or wireless range extenders with their own WPS button that you can use for making a quick connection. You connect them to your wireless network by pressing the WPS button on the router and then on those devices. You don't have to input any data during this process. WPS automatically sends the network password and these devices remember it for future use. They will be able to connect to the same network in the future without you having to use the WPS button again.

3. A third method involves the use of an eight-digit PIN. All routers with WPS enabled have a PIN code that's automatically generated and it cannot be changed by users. You can learn this PIN from the WPS configuration page on your router. Some devices without a WPS button but with WPS support will ask for that PIN. If you enter it, they authenticate themselves and connect to the wireless network.

4. A fourth and last method also involves using an eight-digit PIN. Some devices without a WPS button but with WPS support will generate a client PIN. You can then enter this PIN in your router's wireless configuration panels and the router will use it to add that device to the network.

The first two methods are both secure and very quick, the last two are insecure and they do not provide any benefits in terms of connecting devices to a wireless network faster than usual. Typing that eight-digit PIN and typing the wireless network password is just as fast. The fourth method of connecting to a wireless network is even slower, because you have to access the router's wireless configuration section and type the PIN provided by the client device.


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