Pressing the Wi-Fi protected setup button on a wireless access point, typically found on the wireless router, allows WPS-enabled computers, printers and other devices to connect securely to the access point. This eliminates the need for manual password configuration on each device, potentially saving time during setup.
Users who rely on a WPS configuration allow the router or other wireless access point to communicate with systems currently searching for a WPS signal. Pressing the button allows devices searching for a WPS signal to connect within a two-minute period. This lets home office users set up computers, smartphones and similar devices, and businesses can also connect wireless printers and accessories quickly and efficiently. WPS protection generates an eight-digit PIN that others may use in the future to connect with the access point without the need for pressing the button.
Some concerns surround the use of the WPS button, as any device set to search for the signals may connect when the signal activates, possibly leading to unwanted intrusion when users use the button in semi-public areas. Also, the fact that WPS relies on an eight-digit PIN makes it susceptible to brute-force hacking attempts. A flaw in WPS technology only requires hackers to determine the first four digits to gain access to WPS-protected systems.