If you are seeing a hidden network WiFi and wondering what you should do about that, this article is for you. You will learn everything about this particular type of network and how to access it.
Let’s start by defining what a hidden network WiFi is.
A hidden network is a wireless network that does not broadcast its name to the surrounding area. While the network is active and operational, it won’t appear in the list of available networks for WiFi connections.
The difference between a hidden and a standard Wi-Fi network is the broadcasting of the SSID (Service Set Identifier). In a standard network, the SSID is clear, making it visible to anyone within range searching for WiFi connections. In contrast, a hidden network on WiFi requires users to know the exact SSID. The user will have to manually enter it to connect, as it won’t appear in the list of wireless networks.
The idea behind a hidden network is to add an extra layer of network security by reducing its visibility.
There are many ways to find hidden WiFi networks. While some methods require technical expertise, others are actionable by anyone. Here is a breakdown of the most common ways to find the hidden networks:
- Using Standard OS - Most standard operating systems have utilities that can display all wireless networks, including those with hidden SSIDs. For instance, on Windows, using the command prompt and entering specific commands can reveal hidden WiFi in the vicinity.
- WiFi Scanning Tools - These tools can scan for all wireless networks in the area, including hidden ones. They also embed other interesting features to figure out WiFi security types and other network features.
- WiFi Penetration Testing Tools - There are tools designed for WiFi penetration testing. Experts use these tools to assess the security of WiFi networks and reduce the threats of cybercrimes. However, to use them, you need to have IT knowledge.
While WiFi hidden networks add a layer of obscurity, they are not invisible. An average person, with the help of standard tools or apps, can detect them. However, understanding and interpreting the information might require some basic knowledge of WiFi networks.
Are you wondering why you see a hidden network on your WiFi?
Well, don’t worry about it. That is not necessarily an issue. There might be multiple reasons that do not affect your internet connection or your guest’s WiFi network. Let’s have a look at the most common reason why you are seeing it.
- Intentional Configuration - Someone nearby has set up their WiFi network to not broadcast its SSID. This is a common security measure that attempts to reduce the visibility of the network. Even though you can’t see the network identifier, many devices will still detect it and label it as a “hidden network.”
- Network Extenders or Repeaters - This is another reason why you might see these networks. If you or someone nearby is using a WiFi extender or repeater, it might create a hidden WiFi. This helps the device to be functional. However, it is not an issue.
- Specific Device - Smart TVs, printers, and IoT devices sometimes create specific networks to communicate with other devices.
- Malicious Networks - While less common, someone might set up a hidden network to carry out malicious activities. The most important thing is to follow standard security guidelines.
In short, seeing an obscured network doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a threat, but it’s always good to be cautious. Let’s now understand what you can do if you want to remove it from the list of available networks.
If you want to remove a hidden network on your WiFi, there are many ways to do so. Most of the time, it is nothing to worry about. When in doubt, just don’t connect to it. To remove the hidden WiFi network, there are multiple approaches.
- Check the Settings of your Device - Sometimes, devices like WiFi routers, extenders, or smart gadgets create networks for specific functions. Access their settings and look for any network-related options. If you find the network setting, you can usually disable it or make it visible.
- Change your WiFi Password - If you suspect an unknown device is causing the obscured network, change your WiFi password. This will clean the network from unauthorized access.
- Update Everything - Updating software is necessary to ensure the security of your WiFi. Ensure to update all firmware and software of your devices. You might also experience a better internet experience.
- External Hidden Networks - If the obscured network is from a nearby source, like a neighbor, there’s not much you can do. Just ensure your network is secure.
Tips To Make Your WiFi Secure
As mentioned, hidden networks are not an issue. However, it is good to ensure the security of your WiFi. Here is a list of easy, actionably tips to secure your connection:
- Use a robust password that is a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Update your WiFi password periodically to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
- If you run a business, set up separate networks for guests and your main devices. This way, guest devices won’t have access to your primary network.
- Update the firmware of your router and other connected devices.
- Manufacturers often release updates to fix security vulnerabilities.
- Most routers come with a built-in firewall. Ensure to activate the feature as it adds a strong extra layer of security.
- Use a VPN at the router level. This way, you will encrypt all traffic passing through your router, adding another layer of privacy and security.
While sometimes there’s nothing you can do to remove hidden networks WiFi, generally, there’s nothing to worry about. By following these guidelines, you can enhance the security of your WiFi network and protect your devices and data.
If you run a local business and want to secure your network easily, check out Beambox. It will help you to manage and secure your WiFi even if you have no IT knowledge. Moreover, you can use Beambox to automate your marketing campaigns and grow your online reputation. Start your trial today!
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