View Full Version : Is WPS a waste of time? Can I turn it off?

21-07-2011, 10:41 AM
We have 4 visitors staying with XP notebooks. 3 of them connected OK when I gave them the 12-digit alphanumeric generated by the AP. The 4th wouldn't connect. He clicked on the correct SSID and it brought up a field to enter something. As soon as he typed an alpha character it beeped and wouldn't accept the typing. So I gave him a cable.

Later I found a PIN number in the AP. When he entered this into his machine it was accepted but it still wouldn't connect, so he tells me.

(I am not able to fiddle with his machine. These are young people and their lives overlap with ours maybe 2 minutes a day)

So I read the useless manual (Netcomm NP121) and went on-line. It seems I'm not the only one, except the problem is WPS not particularly Netcomm:


As the screenshot below shows, there is an option to disable WPS but should I do this? On the one hand all 4 of these young people were 100% OK about asking for and entering a wireless access code, as if they do it every day. I presume that if I disabled WPS the wayward laptop would become like the others

On the other hand, our AP is part of a bridge and I must admit it is convenient to push a physical button on the AP then walk to the client-end of the bridge and push another physical button (within 2 minutes) and get the bridge working.

(Otherwise I would have to unplug all the cables take it to my desktop and do things that I don't really know anything about) (like what address to use? I only have an address for the other end)

Any advice?

21-07-2011, 11:18 AM
Personally I never use any sort of preset, as it can sometimes cause all sorts of problems. Manually set the thing and 9/10 times theres no problem.

The problem you are having with the 4th laptop, may have some clue from netcomms site:
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a standard for easy and secure wireless network set up and connections. NETGEAR's products use the name Push 'n' Connect for WPS. To use WPS, your product must support WPS and be compatible with WPA security.
Disadvantages of WPS
•Unless all the Wi-Fi devices on the network are WPS-compatible, you will not be able to take advantage of the ease of securing the network.
•If your wireless device does not support WPS, it can be hard to join a network that was set up with WPS because the wireless network name and security key are random sequences of letters and numbers.
•This technology is fairly new, so not all wireless equipment supports WPS.
•Ad-Hoc mode does not support WPS. Ad-hoc mode is used when wireless devices communicate directly to each other without an access point.

21-07-2011, 11:42 AM
Hmm - that's Netgear rather than Netcomm but it looks familiar

The disadvantages listed are about not having WPS on one or more of the devices. But the problem I'm having seems to be when a laptop comes along that does have it. It recognises WPS and tries to use it. It doesn't have an option to ignore it and go back to the old way

I tend to agree with you (about doing things manually) but I lack the knowledge/confidence to get into the client end of the bridge to set it manually

(I've just had a thought: having used WPS to associate the two ends of the bridge, if I now turn off WPS it should stay associated?!? I'll wait until the visitors go before trying it)

21-07-2011, 11:55 AM
Netgear /Netcomm, the WPS process is the same thing really.

Not all wireless devices will work with some technology.
I Was setting up three laptops a few weeks back,two had XP and the other had W7 - I had to reduce the security simply because one of the XP's could see the wireless and try to connect, but the Laptop simply wouldn't connect, yet the other XP was fine. Reduce the security by one option and then it played nice :)

21-07-2011, 04:03 PM
I agree with wainuitech, WPS is hopeless most of the time so I never bother with it.