WPS

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

WPS may refer to any of the following:

1. When referring to a file or file extension, .WPS is a file extension used with Microsoft Works versions 6 to Microsoft Works version 9. For users who need to open a Microsoft Works files, you can still use Microsoft Word to open these files.

2. When referring to a network, WPS is short for Wi-Fi Protected Setup and is a method of establishing a connection between a wireless device and a wireless router that was released in 2007. Typically to connect a wireless device to a router you need to know the router name (SSID) and its password. However, with WPS you could connect to the network using any of the methods below.

Tip: Some manufacturers may also refer to WPS or the WPS button as EZSetup or Push 'n' Connect.

  • For devices that support WPS, you can enter the eight-digit WPS PIN on your wireless router to connect to the router.
  • If your wireless device has a WPS button of its own, you can press the WPS button on the router and then press the WPS button on your device to connect it to the network.
  • Press the WPS button on the router and then using a wireless device find and select the router to connect without having to enter a password.
  • For wireless devices that have WPS, you can enter the eight-digit generated PIN in your wireless router's setup to connect the device.

Where is the WPS PIN or WPS Key?

The WPS PIN can be found on the back or bottom of the router. With most routers, the WPS PIN is on a sticker and is an eight-digit number.

Disadvantages with WPS

Although WPS can make it easier to connect wireless devices to your network, there are some distinct disadvantages of WPS.

  • If your wireless router is in an insecure area, anyone could press the WPS button on the back of the router and be able to connect to your network.
  • Because all WPS devices have a unique eight-digit PIN (technically seven since the last digit is a checksum), a hacker can use a brute-force attack on the router to identify the WPS PIN and then be able to connect to your network.
  • The WPS router PIN cannot be changed.
  • WPS only works with WPA or WPA2 security and does not support older devices with WEP.

Although WPS can make it easier to connect wireless devices to your network because of these disadvantages you may want to disable WPS through your router setup.

Note: Some routers may still be vulnerable to a WPS brute-force attack even after WPS has been disabled. If you're concerned about your wireless router security after disabling WPS also make sure to get the latest firmware update for your router.

Note: Even with the latest firmware update not all routers allow you to disable WPS.

Network terms