General Question

bomyne's avatar

Why do modern operating systems lack a WPS wifi option?

Asked by bomyne (639points) December 21st, 2014
9 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

I have an old mobile broadband device that I wanted to get working again, and I had forgotten the password to the WiFi. The device has support for WPS.

I have three computers, One running Windows 7, one running Linux Mint 17 and one running Mac OSX Yosemite. I also have one iPad.

I looked though every setting and every configuration screen for all three computers, and the iPad, and there was no mention of WPS support. The only device I have that actually let me connect to the network via WPS is my 3DS XL, but sadly that couldn’t accept the cookies to log into the admin center.

So my question is… Why is Yosemite, Win7 and Linux Mint 17 missing support for WPS?

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Lightlyseared's avatar

A major security flaw was discovered in the system in 2011 and it kind of fell out of favour after that.

Lightlyseared's avatar

As to get your device working – you could try googling the model number and find the instructions for resetting it and the password will be reset to the factory default.

bomyne's avatar

Unfortunately, the password is unique to the device. Why things have to be complicated, I do not know.

ragingloli's avatar

The factory password is usually printed on the back.
Press the factory reset button, and the password will revert to hat.

RocketGuy's avatar

My neighbor cracked my WPS in a week or less. I have been using WPA2 for the last 5 years – not hacked yet.

bomyne's avatar

@RocketGuy Doesn’t WPS require access to the push button on the device? And then if the device doesn’t connect within two minutes, the WPS operation is canceled?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@bomyne that is one way to connect to WPS hotspot however all WPS certified devices also allow for connecting via a PIN. If you can guess the correct number you can access the network. The PIN number was supposed to be random but due to a flaw in the implementation the actual PIN was drawn from only a small pool of numbers this meant it wopulent take long to try every single number. Which brings me back to my original answer as to why you don’t see it in modern operating systems. It’s broken.

elmillia's avatar

The real question is, how does removing WPS from operating systems make networks any more secure? Answer is… It doesn’t. WPS is an access point problem, not a client (your computer) problem. That is why you should be sure to disable WPS on your access point. It’s Never worth the risk to have it on.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@elmillia so the reason it was removed from operating systems was because router manufacturers stopped including it.

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