Everyone doesn’t want to broadcast the name of their Wi-Fi network to everyone within the range. Keeping the Wi-Fi network hidden is sometimes the best option, especially from a security standpoint. If your network is hidden, you won’t be on the radar of malicious operators. Tenacious hackers might still manage to intercept your signal, but it will be much more difficult if your network is hidden.
The hidden network feature is available to both Windows and Mac computers. In this guide, you will learn all about connecting to a secret network on your Mac, and if you are a Windows user, you can get the information you need here.
So, what is a Hidden Network?
All Wi-Fi networks broadcast Service Set Identifier or SSID every hundred milliseconds, and this setting is by default. Through this, the networks inform other devices about their presence. If you could understand or hear the signals broadcasted by your router, you would want to cover your ears because it is constantly shouting to let everyone know of its existence.
However, not all routers broadcast this. For example, some routers do not reveal their SSID because the hidden network Wi-Fi option is activated on the settings. When this setting is turned on, broadcasting stops on the network’s SSID, and this effectively causes the Wi-Fi network to become invisible to the other devices that connect to Wi-Fi.
Switching on the hidden network Wi-Fi option was a popular security mechanism. Still, it has fallen out of favor because, today, several user-friendly tools make it easy to find hidden networks and even gather detailed information about them.
Steps to Create a Hidden Wi-Fi Network
If you want to configure Wi-Fi on Mac and wish to create a hidden network, you can follow these steps. Also., note that the process of hiding your network might be different for different operating systems and Wi-Fi routers. But the procedure explained below should work with Windows and Mac, even if the settings might be slightly different.
- Log into your Wi-Fi Router
The first step is to log into your Wi-Fi router. If you are a Mac user, you can connect via an Apple Airport to access your router through an Airport Utility app. Once you have opened this app, click on the Airport device you are using and click Edit. You have to enter a password, and once logged into the Airport, you can move on to the next step.
- Look for the Wireless Network Settings
Now that you are logged into your Wi-Fi router, the next step is to navigate to the Wireless Network settings. You will find it within the Apple Airport Utility application.
- Click to Hide the Wi-Fi Network
While it sounds easy to hide the Wi-Fi network, this is tricky. The complication is that every router has a different name for this specific setting. Therefore, it would be best to look at everything to see which setting makes the most sense.
Apple does a great job of simplifying things, and under the Advanced Settings in the Wireless menu, you will find and tick the box next to Create a Hidden Network. Then, you can hide the network created, and you are done.
Connect to a Hidden Network
Before attempting to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network, you must know the network’s name. Without the network name, you will fail at the starting line.
Typically, you would select the appropriate network from the list of available options, but a hidden Wi-Fi network does not reveal itself. So, you have to check the correct name of the network in the router settings, which can be done from an already-connected device. Or, you can ask someone who knows the name.
Along with the network name, you must also know the security type and the password. Generally, modern routers use WPA2/WPA3 Personal. But you must confirm the correct encryption type on your router through trial and error or another connected device.
You are ready to make a connection once you have all the details. Then, you can follow these steps to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network on your MacBook.
- In the top menu bar, click the Wi-Fi symbol and then choose the Other Networks option
- Click Other and enter the network details, such as the security protocol, the name, and password
- Click Join
The Bottom Line
Hidden Wi-Fi networks serve different purposes. While the first purpose is to beef up the security of your system by keeping your SSID hidden from malicious hackers, the second is to keep your Wi-Fi network details safe from nosy neighbors. So, the next time someone asks for your Wi-Fi network, you can tell them to find it if they can.
If you need to connect to a hidden network, you can follow the steps explained above.