My LAN consists of two sff computers connecting to an Arris TG852G gateway, one directly via ethernet, the other via Netgear WN111v2. The network was set up 4 months ago by a Comcast Xfinity Triple Play tech (who didn't explain ANYTHING to me). Apparently he applied a ridiculously flimsy network password along with overly obvious SSID and router password. Now I would like to change all that by using WPS network configuration (ALL devices support WPS Push 'N' Connect).
But all instructions I have found, both in the Netgear manual and online from various sources, have only to do with first installation; I need to know if I can still use WPS Push 'N' Connect to reconfigure the router now. I can't believe the Comcast tech didn't use WPS when he was securing my network in the first place, which would have given me real security from the start. How do I know he didn't? Because the SSID is NOT a randomly generated one, it's a stupidly obvous and revealing one. Which means the network password must be equally flimsy.
So if I just follow the instructions in the Netgear adapter manual for WPS first installation, will it also just override the current Comcast tech guy-applied configuration? Or is it more complicated than that?
Incidentally, I never recieved a printed router manual; would I find one on the router configuration site?
You seem to be under some misapprehension here, WPS is a way to connect a wireless device to a wireless access point, it's NOT used to configure the access point itself. You seem to be under the impression that WPS is somehow responsible for CHANGING the settings on the gateway, but it's not, it's just a method of wireless connection to use the gateway from a wireless device.
To configure the TG852G/CT, simply point your browser (from a directly connected system) at http://10.0.0.1 and log in with the admin password provided by the tech. If the tech did not give it to you, try the default values, "admin" for the userid, and "password" for the password. If that doesn't work you have two choices, call Comcast's gateway support folks at 800-363-2416 and have them reset it for you, or you can reset the gateway to factory default settings by pressing and holding the Reset button for more than 15 seconds. Then "admin" and "password" should work.
Once logged to the gateway, you can change most of the settings on the gateway, like wireless SSID, encryption, and password. Be sure to use WPA2 and make the password a strong one, using a short and simple password is bad idea from a security standpoint. The manual for the device is here.
Not sure why you think your SSID is "overly obvious", all it has to be is unique, different from other wireless access points in your area. There is no security inherent in the SSID itself, it's just a name, it can be whatever you want. There is no advantage to a randomly generated SSID and no effect on security. The SSID's "Router" and "036829056482062045794" are no different from a security standpoint.
WPS is only one way to connect a wireless device and the only advantage it has over a more traditional password is that you don't need to know the wireless password as long as you have physical access to the WPS button the gateway. It does require both ends support WPS and from a security standpoint it's a real weak spot. Even the use of the PIN method has been flagged as being insecure (see this CERT Vulnerability Note).