Almost all modern Wi-Fi extenders will have some kind of WPS button (sometimes also called a Pair or Connect or Wi-Fi button), but what does it even mean, and what does it do?
WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup and is a protocol whereby wireless devices on the same network can be easily and quickly connected to each other, without the need for any complex manual setup. It’s a user friendly feature on routers, access points and other newer devices, designed to allow the easiest possible setup.
The WPS button on your Wi-Fi is designed to allow it to be synched up with your router and ready to use, by pushing a button and in less than two minutes, with no other setup required.
In other words, it’s a kind of “no nonsense” rapid setup button you can use, along with the same button on your router, to just get your Wi-Fi extender/booster/repeater configured and ready to use as quickly as possible.
Let’s look at how you use it.
How To Use The WPS Button To Set Up Your Extender
Finding the WPS button on your Wi-Fi extender is normally very easy, because it’s mostly the only button on it.
Look for a button with the WPS symbol on it:
Or it might just be labelled “WPS” or “Pair” or “Connect” or “Wi-Fi”, or just have some kind of wireless symbol on it. However it’s labelled, this is the button you use to quickly set up your Wi-Fi extender by connecting it to your router.
Here are the steps for WPS extender setup:
- Press the WPS button on your router until it blinks/flashes
- Press and hold the WPS/Pair button on your repeater within 2 minutes.
- Wait up to two minutes for them to connect
- Your extender will clone your router’s SSID/password.
- A solid green light indicates they are connected.
- You can now connect to the extender as an extra access point
Extender WPS Setup video
See our guide on WPS setup for Wi-Fi repeaters, for more detailed steps
And it’s as simple as that! WPS is designed to be the easiest way to get an extender ready to use without messing around with any manual setup on browsers or apps.
When WPS setup works, your extender and router automatically connect up, and your extender creates it’s own separate network with a network name/SSID almost the same as your router (often just with a little “EXT” or “EXTENDER” suffix on the end), plus exactly the same wireless password as your main host router.
You can then connect your devices to this extender network if they can get a better signal from it versus the main router, and start browsing the internet via the extender’s connection with your router.
What If The WPS Button Setup Doesn’t Work or Isn’t Available?
WPS setup is great for no nonsense, non technical kind of users that don’t want to mess about with manual setup on browsers or apps and just want to get using the extender as soon as possible.
However, some older routers and extenders might not have a WPS button, so you can’t do the setup this way. Or you might try it and it doesn’t work.
If WPS setup is available but fails when you follow the steps, even after waiting 2 minutes or more, the first thing to check is that the extender is plugged in close enough to the router so the two devices are in range and can “find” each other easily.
If this isn’t the issue, you’ll have to grab a nearby device and switch to the browser setup method, which takes a little bit longer but is still pretty easy.
Here are the steps for this method:
- Plug the extender in near the router for initial setup
- Note down login details on your extender on the label and plug it in.
- Find the extender’s default open network (eg. “TP-Link-Repeater”) on your device and connect
- Open any web browser on your phone/tablet and type in the access URL (on the label) into the address bar
- Enter the default admin username/password on the label (see screenshot below)
- Set up a new admin username/password if desired.
- Find and connect to your router’s Wi-Fi network on the list and enter it’s wireless password.
- Either copy or modify your router’s credentials for the repeater (you can name your repeater’s SSID whatever you want).
- Save settings and connect the devices to the extender’s new network, which will have the same password as your main router.
- A solid green light indicates the repeater is connected and working.
- Then move the extender round to where you need it, still making sure it is within range of the router’s signal.
See our article on setting up a Wi-Fi extender using a device browser, for more detailed steps
This is a slightly longer winded method of getting your extender working if the quick setup WPS method fails, and on the plus side allows you to change the name of your extender’s network if you want to. WPS setup is quicker but sets everything for you and doesn’t allow any customization.