What is WPS on my Router?

Learn > Cable Modem & Routers > What is WPS on my Router?

If you’ve looked closely at your WiFi router, you might have noticed a button marked “WPS” somewhere on it. What is this button? Why is it there and should you press it? Great questions.

WPS stands for WiFi Protected Setup.  A router with a WPS button can allow any device to automatically connect to your router when the WPS button is pressed. When you press the WPS button, your router looks for compatible devices right away and allows those devices automatically connect.  But hang on, there’s more to know about WPS.


Is WPS the same as WiFi?

WPS, or WiFi Protected Setup, is a built-in feature on many routers that make it easier to connect WiFi-enabled devices to a secure wireless network. The WPS feature on your router is NOT the same as WiFi since WiFi is your wireless network.  The WPS button simply allows wireless devices to connect easily to your home WiFi network and usually can be found on the back of the router but may appear on the front of the device.


What happens when I press the WPS button on my router?

If you’ve connected a device to a router before, then you know how tricky remembering default router passwords can be. Especially if they are long strings of letter, numbers, and symbols. The best practice is to always change the default password to something strong and unique. Whether you changed your default password or not, remembering the password can be difficult.

When WPS button on your router is pressed, or activated, your router assumes devices nearby are allowed to connect to your router. So, it is important to make sure you know the devices connecting to your WiFi.


What Devices Can Connect to WPS?

Not all WiFi devices can connect to WPS. It doesn’t matter whether your devices are new or older, they may not correctly connect.

When you try to connect your device to a new router your device should give you an option that says something along the lines of “connect via WPS” if it is compatible.

When your devices have successfully connected, it’s a best practice to turn off WPS so that unwanted devices do not get the chance to connect to your network. If left on, it can be a vulnerability for security issues.


How to check if your router has WPS

You don’t need WPS on your router or cable modem router, but it is a cool and efficient feature to have. Simply look on the front or back or your router for a button that has “WPS” on it.


Should I disable WPS on my router?

The WPS feature should be disabled when it is not in use to prevent cybersecurity threats or unwanted devices from connecting to your home network.  The WPS feature can be turned off or disabled by logging into your router’s settings, under Wireless Setup.  Look for WPS and select “WPS Off”.  Remember to save your changes.

WPS as a feature, is meant to offer a convenient way to easily connect your wireless devices to your WiFi network without having to constantly remember a password.  Always disable the WPS feature on your router when it’s not in use.

Want to learn more about Cable Modem Routers?  Check out our additional articles found under our Learn articles.

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