Whether at your workplace or home, Wi-Fi has become a basic need for every person. So, while setting up your Wi-Fi router, you must have come across a feature commonly known as WPS (Wi-Fi protected setup). It is a built-in feature of your router that makes it very easy to connect other devices (Wi-Fi enabled) to a secure wireless network. Other devices can be anything from TVs or laptops to mobiles or disc players.
So, today this article will tell you all about WPS and how to install one securely at your home. If you own an Asus RT-N66U Router, follow this important link. This is a basic and complete setup guide that you can use to set up and configure your router accordingly.
What Is Wi-Fi Protected Setup?
WPS, as its name suggests, is a wireless setup feature commonly available in all routers nowadays. Earlier, connecting devices to one secure wireless network was a tedious task. The security settings had to be configured manually for the devices. However, with the introduction of WPS, the connection of various devices is just a button away. Devices can be securely connected to the network by just pressing the WPS button on the router.
However, it is important to know that this WPS feature supports only WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) and WPA2 (Wi-Fi protected access 2) personal security protocols. It doesn’t support the outdated WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) security.
Functionality of WPS
It is amazing how easily the WPS function works. But, before the WPS function was even there, a standard setup procedure required the wireless network’s name and password to connect any external device. It had to be manually entered, which took a lot of time.
No wonder how many times you asked for the same name and Wi-Fi password from your cousin to connect your smartphone to their wireless network.
A Wi-Fi protected setup involves two major types of setups that are explained below:
PBC (Push Button Configuration):
A user can connect multiple devices to the desired network by pushing the WPS button in a Push button configuration. In this case, a router (Registrar device) generally has a physical WPS button to enable the function, while other devices (to be connected) may or may not have the same. Instead, they’ll have a software-based button for that.
By pushing the WPS button, the router first starts discovering new devices within its range. Then you have to select the network on which you want to connect your desired device. The device gets automatically connected without asking for any key.
We don’t just use our phones for Wi-Fi, so other devices like disc players, wireless printers, etc., can also be connected. These types of devices usually have their own WPS button for making connections.
So, just like the previous process, you first have to press the WPS button on the router and then on the current device, printer, for example. WPS will automatically detect the device and connect to it by sending the network password to the printer without you doing anything. Moreover, the printer will remember this connection, and therefore, it will be handy for future use.
Entering PIN (Personal Identification Number):
All devices support the PIN entry function. As the name suggests, a Personal Identification Number (PIN) has to be entered for any device to join the desired network. In most devices, the PIN is displayed on the back of any device on a label or a sticker. For devices like TVs, the PIN can be found in the security settings.
Now, during the registration, a.k.a connection process, the Registrar device (Router, PC, etc.) will detect all nearby devices (Wi-Fi enabled), and a prompt is sent to the user’s device to enter the PIN. Routers always have an automatically generated PIN which can be accessed through the WPS configuration page on the router. Once you enter that PIN, the desired device is authenticated and successfully added to the network.
Advantages of WPS
- The keys generated by WPS result from a random generation, so no one can figure out your security key/password.
- There is no need for a user to enter lengthy and tiring codes, names, IDs, or passwords.
- The duration of opening of the connection line is very minute, therefore minimizing the risk of any hacks.
- A secure EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) is followed to exchange any information between the access point (router) and the user device.
- Its most advantageous feature is its convenience, as WPS provides wireless security at home without much effort.
In today’s world, security is of paramount importance. Billions of people exchange and use wireless networks daily, making them prone to cyber-attacks, hackings, etc. Therefore, a Wi-Fi-protected setup (WPS) in every home is a must in today’s world to protect data, privacy, and other internet-related tasks and accomplishments.