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Find and connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network

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Find and connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network

Find and connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network

18.10.2022

Internet

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When you open the list of available Wi-Fi networks, you do not always see the complete list. Today we will tell you why hidden networks are created and how to connect to them.

What a hidden network

Hidden Wi-Fi networks include networks with non-broadcast identifiers (SSID).

Service Set Identifier (SSID) is a unique name for a wireless network that is used by connecting devices to distinguish it from others. It is this identifier that is set by the user in the router settings in the "Network name" field.

If the SSID is not broadcast, the network name is not displayed in the network list of devices within its range. However, you can connect to it if you know not only the password, but also the name.

Why hidden networks are created

The «Hidden network» parameter is set in the router's settings to further secure the network from third-party connections. Also, this can be done in order not to advertise the presence of a wireless network or in order not to «litter» the list of available networks for users.

This practice is widespread in shopping malls. Usually in such places there are much more networks than users see in their smartphones. There, hidden networks are needed for the operation of cash equipment or internal use by employees.

Why connect to hidden networks

The need to connect may arise in various cases:

  • You are an employee of an organization that operates a hidden network;
  • You are a student and you really need to connect to the network (cheating is not good!), and Your friend distributes Wi-Fi, which should not be compromised;
  • Your neighbors believe that Wi-Fi is evil and regularly check for networks around. A powerful radio signal does not come from your apartment, which means they will be friends with you :)

We could retell many more amazing stories related to hidden networks, but, for most users, the reason for connecting is the need to connect to a working network that is hidden for security purposes.

How to connect on Windows 7/8

In Windows 7 and 8, to connect to a hidden network, you need to create a new connection manually. In Windows 10, this can be done both manually and automatically.

Go to «Network and Sharing Center», find the option «Create and configure a new connection or network».


At the next step, you need to select the third item «Connect to a wireless network manually» and click «Next».


You will see fields for entering information about the network. Here it is desirable to know the type of security and encryption used. However, if there is no such information, it is not scary. With a high degree of probability, WPA-2 Personal is used, and if not, it will be possible to choose the right one experimentally :)

Check the boxes to automatically start the connection and «Connect if the network is not broadcasting».


If you have problems connecting to this network in the future, delete the network in the menu «Wireless Networks’ management» (in the Network and Sharing Center) and reconnect.


How to connect on Windows 10

To connect to a hidden network from a Windows 10 computer, you need to click on the wireless icon and at the end of the list of available networks find the item «Other networks» or «Hidden network». If you are going to connect constantly, check the box «Connect automatically».




Next, you will need to enter a network name and click «Next». Likewise with a password. If no errors were made during data entry, the connection will be established.

How to connect from a smartphone

If your phone runs on Android OS, go to the list of Wi-Fi networks, click on «Add network». Depending on the version of Android, this feature will be available from the home screen or you will need to go to Options.

Next, a window will appear for entering a name, password and type of protection (here we act according to the scheme for Windows 7/8). Specify the settings and click «Save».

If you have an iPhone / iPad, go to «Settings» → «Wi-Fi» → «Other...» and enter the network settings.

Thus, in order to connect to hidden networks, it is enough to know the name and the network’s password and, preferably, the type of encryption. Earlier we wrote that today the vast majority of networks work on WPA2, so the probability of specifying the wrong type of encryption is extremely small.

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