What Is the WPS Button on My Router?

What Is the WPS Button on My Router
What Is the WPS Button on My Router

Is it safe for me to hit the WPS button? What happens if this happens?

You’ve likely found a weird button labeled “WPS” somewhere on your router if you poke around it for a while. What is the mysterious button and what would happen if it was pressed?

Let’s find out what “WPS” means, why it has buttons, and how it works.

What is WPS?

WPS stands to “WiFi Protected Settingup” and allows you to connect more devices to your router.

You’ve probably experienced default router passwords if you have ever connected a device with a router. These passwords are typically printed on the back of the router and include a string of letters, numbers and symbols you must enter in order to use it.

To keep hackers from accessing the router, the default password is complex. Hackers can easily guess the default password, such as admin, and gain access to your router. Before randomly generated default passwords were common, changing them was a top hack to secure your network.

These complex default router passwords are so strong that it is not unusual for someone to never modify them. However, this does not mean that anyone can access your WiFi if they have the password printed on the back.

But if someone breaks into your home to steal your router password, it’s a bigger problem than someone watching Netflix on the data plan.

If it is safe to assume that no one within reach of your router is a bad guy then why not create a button that does exactly the same thing? This is what the WPS button does.

What does the WPS Button do?

WPS buttons assume that someone is within reach of the router and can connect a device. Instead of entering a long password, hit the button to connect a device.

The router will begin searching for compatible devices when you press the button. The router will pair up automatically if it finds devices that are looking for a WPS enabled router. The router will stop looking if it does not find any devices that connect to it within two minutes.

Not all devices are capable of connecting using WPS. WPS is not supported by all devices. It is difficult to tell if a device supports WPS, but you will see “connect via WPS” when connecting it with a new router.

Where is the WPS button on my Router?

It can look different depending on which router model you have. It can be difficult to find on some router models. Just look for the label “WPS” and you’ll see it. It should be located at the back of your unit.

WPS symbol will be used by some models. It looks like two arrows pointed at each other in an oval shape. It almost looks like the universal recycling symbol, except it is missing an arrow.

Others will write “WiFi Protected Setup” beside the button. This is simply the word “WPS” as it stands. The above should all work as regular WPS buttons, so don’t be concerned if it is different.

How to connect to a Wi Fi Network with WPS

WPS is not compatible with every Wi-Fi device. WPS is not supported by all modern devices, so older systems won’t be able to understand it.

If a device offers the option to use WPS, it will let you know that it is compatible. After selecting the router that you wish to connect to, the device will ask you for a password or press the WPS button.

If you see this option during setup, please keep the page open and click the WPS button on the router. The route will now start looking for devices that can connect to it. It should locate yours and connect to the network without you needing a password.

Noting that your router password can cause all devices connected via WPS to be booted, it is worth noting. Your device will attempt to reconnect if you don’t have the correct credentials.

You can reset your password to the original setting and then everything will reconnect. You can also tell your device to forget your router and then reconnect with WPS again.

This tip is also useful if someone connects to your router using WPS without you knowing. You can change your password to lock out anyone who has accessed your router with WPS without you knowing.

Is WPS safe to use?

WPS security is dependent on the location of your router. Is it possible for an intruder to gain access to your router and use the WPS button on your network to gain access? You might consider disabling the WPS button by looking at your router’s settings.

If you aren’t sure you’ll be connecting any new devices to Wi-Fi soon, this applies twice. WPS is not useful for connecting new devices to your Wi-Fi. The button should be removed once you are done.

What about guests who visit? You can create a separate guest network to allow visitors to connect to your Wi Fi quickly. This will allow them to quickly connect to your Wi-Fi while keeping your private devices safe.

Connectivity at the Press of a Button

WPS can be a convenient way for you to connect to your router. However, it can also pose a security threat. To ensure your privacy, it’s a good idea not to use WPS functionality after all devices have been connected. Instead, you can allow guests to connect to your router via a guest network.

You can also hide all of your Wi-Fi networks if you have decided to disable WPS. Hackers can’t access what they don’t see. It’s much harder to hack into what you don’t know.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.