How do I set up a hidden WiFi Network in my home? Perhaps you don’t want neighbors or strangers jumping onto your Wifi network. Maybe you just want an extra layer of security. Whatever your reason may be, here’s a quick tutorial for how to set up a hidden WiFi network, both on an Apple Airport and a traditional WiFi router.
The process of hiding the signal on your WiFI router thankfully isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. I’m going to walk you through the process step by step (including a video, if that helps).
Keep in mind that hiding your network doesn’t automatically secure you. It is still incredibly important that you lock your router with a secure password (read my 3 simple password strategies to create strong passwords here). A hidden network is just an added layer of protection.
Hopefully I can make this as simple as possible and at the end, if this has been helpful, let me know in the comments! Better yet, share this with your friends so that they can further secure their own home network.
How to Create a Hidden WiFi Network
Before I walk you through a written description for creating a hidden WiFi network with screenshots, you might get more value from just watching me do it on the video below.
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Now that you’ve seen the process in action (or perhaps you’d just rather read than watch), here’s the simple 3-step process to hide your home network from neighbors and strangers.
Step 1: Log into Your WiFi Router
The first thing you need to do is log into your WiFi router. If you don’t know what that is, it’s usually the device next to the box your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gave you. In many cases, it is integrated into the internet box itself.
Accessing an Apple Airport on a Mac
For Mac users who are connecting via an Apple Airport, you’ll access your WiFi router through an app on your computer called “Airport Utility”. It looks like this:
Once the AirPort Utility app is opened, you’ll click the Airport device you’re using and then click “Edit”. If you’re not the administrator, you will be asked to enter a password.
Now that you’re logged into the Airport, you can move on to Step 2.
Accessing Most Other WiFi Routers
For most any other router on the market, you’re going to start by putting on your reading glasses (the text you’re about to read is usually small!) and looking on the back side of the router. On the back, you’re going to find something similar to what you see below, where it tells you the login, user name and password. I’m using a Netgear router in the example below.
Can you see why locking down your router is so important? With such a super-secure password as “password”, it’s no wonder these things get hacked!
Sometimes the login won’t be a URL such as “routerlogin.net” like it is above. It might be a string of numbers like “192.168.1.1”. In either case, just type the login address directly into your internet browser.
Every router looks different, but the end result is that you’ll be asked to enter the user name/password and then brought to a router dashboard. Here’s an example:
That’s it. You’re in!
Step 2: Find Wireless Network Settings
Having logged into your WiFi router, you want to now navigate to the wireless network settings.
Within the Apple Airport Utility app, you’ll find that here:
Within all other WiFi routers, you’ll just want to look for something that says “Wireless”, similar to what you see here:
It should be pretty easy to find and if you can’t find anything that says “Wireless”, there’s a chance that your router isn’t a wireless router.
Step 3: Hide Your WiFi Network
The only complicated part of this step is that every router has a different name for this particular setting. You’ll just need to look at everything to see what makes sense.
Apple does a good job of making things simple (as they usually do). Under Advanced Settings in the wireless menu, you’re going to find and check the box that says “Create a Hidden Network”.
In the Netgear WiFi router that I’m using for this example, what I found is a setting that says “Enable SSID Broadcast”. SSID stands for “Service Set Identifier”, but that’s not important.
To start, this box was checked (meaning the network name was broadcast publicly). In order to hide the WiFi network, I need to have it unchecked.
You’ve now set up a hidden network on you Apple Airport and disabled the broadcast of your SSID in the Netgear router.
IMPORTANT: Make note of the name of your network. You’ll need this for the final step below.
Once you save the settings, the name of your network will disappear from the available networks when your device is searching for it. You may even lose your connection to the internet. That’s ok…move on to the final step.
Final Step…Connect to Your Network
If your computer or device gets disconnected – or if you need to add a new device to your network – follow these quick steps:
- Find the list of WiFi networks on your computer.
- Click on “Join Other Network” or “Other”.
- Enter the name of your network in the blank space (including any spaces, capital letters or symbols).
- Choose “WPA/WPA2 Personal” for your password and enter the password. Don’t forget to click “Remember this Network” or else you’ll have to do this every time.
- Click “Connect”.
If you have any trouble, log back into your WiFi router and double check the network name and password.
Conclusion | Setting Up a Hidden WiFi Network
Setting up a hidden WiFi network is a great step to take to secure your network, but let me stress this point: a hidden network doesn’t take the place of a good password. Make sure you lock your WiFi network with a good password. (here are some tips on creating secure passwords).
The downside to hidden networks is the added pain of reconnecting all your devices, including any smart TVs, gaming consoles or Apple TVs (for more, here’s a tutorial on setting up a VPN on an Apple TV). It’s a small inconvenience that you only have to endure once. After that, you’re set up!
If this was helpful, please leave a message share this online with your friends. Thanks so much!