When setting up a router in your office, you may notice that it offers Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). Developed by Cisco in 2007, this protocol simplifies the process of adding new devices to the wireless network. Rather than manually connecting each device by selecting the wireless network and entering the password — passwords are often long and complex — you can use an alternative connection method. The WPS protocol supports the four following mode types, all of which are designed to easily and quickly connect devices to the wireless network.
#1) Push Button
Push button is exactly what it sounds like: a button on the side of a router that you can push to connect devices. Upon pressing this button, the router will enter discovery mode. You can then pull the wireless network on the device that you wish to connect to the wireless network. Selecting the wireless network will automatically connect the device to it. You won’t have to enter the password. As long as you press the button, the device will connect automatically.
The WPS protocol supports the PIN mode type. You can connect new devices to the wireless network by entering the PIN at the representant of the wireless network, which is typically the router or access point. With that said, the PIN may be provided by the access point itself, in which case you can enter it into the device that you want to connect to the wireless network.
Some WPS-enabled routers support near-field communication (NFC). How does NFC work exactly? NFC is a wireless communication technology. It’s known as “near-field communication” because it has a short distance. If supported by your router, you can connect new devices by placing them near the router. Your router will form a connection with devices via NFC.
Finally, the WPS protocol supports the Universal Serial Bus (USB) mode type. This means you connect new devices to the wireless network by using a USB flash drive. You’ll typically have to insert the USB flash drive into the devices as well as the access point.
WPS makes it easy to connect new devices to a wireless network. You won’t have to enter the password. Instead, you can use one of the protocol’s alternative connection methods. Also known as mode types, they include push button, PIN, NFC and USB. Keep in mind, however, that none of these connection methods are as secure as a password. WPS may open the doors to attackers who could breach your wireless network.