WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) allows devices to connect to an Internet access point without a password. Instead, all you have to do is press a button. This feature is no longer available on Android, but it used to be. Why is that?
Prior to the release of Android 9 Pie in 2018, Android included a WPS option in network settings. This would be used in conjunction with pressing the WPS button on a router, allowing you to connect your phone to Wi-Fi without entering a password.
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WPS is not secure
WPS is a handy feature that was perfect for a few different scenarios. For example, imagine you’re at a friend or family member’s house and want to connect to their Wi-Fi network. Being able to just press a button on their router and not bother anyone with a password pass is very convenient.
However, this convenience is also the reason why there are problems with WPS. It is not a very secure protocol. This is why many people advise disabling WPS when setting up a new router or range extender. Most of these devices enable WPS by default.
But why is it so insecure? The router has an eight-digit PIN that you must enter on your Android device to connect to it. However, WPS only checks the first four digits of this pin separately from the last four. Since there are only 11,000 possible four-digit codes, it is much easier to guess the PIN by “brute force”.
WPS has a second connection method – the aforementioned button on the router. This is more secure as it requires physical entry and devices can only connect for a few minutes. There is a huge catch, however. The PIN method Homework be enabled, so even if you only use the more secure button method, this PIN vulnerability is still present.t
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“Wi-Fi Easy Connect” is like WPS but better
Due to these security issues, Android dropped WPS support in Android 9 Pie. The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced an alternative to WPS called “Wi-Fi Easy Connect”. This feature was included in the Android 10 release.
Wi-Fi Easy Connect uses device-specific QR codes for connection. You still don’t need to enter a password, but it’s much more secure. This is also useful for devices other than routers, such as smart plugs and printers.
As long as your Android device is running Android 10 or later, you can take advantage of this new and improved protocol. Chances are you’ve used it before if you have smart devices in your home that connect to Wi-Fi.
In short, your Android device no longer has a WPS button because the industry has created a better and more secure replacement. WPS is still around, but it’s not available on Android devices, and that’s probably a good thing.
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