How to Join a Hidden Wi-Fi Network with No Broadcast SSID from iOS
Hidden wi-fi networks are becoming more common as network administrators look for additional measures to secure wireless connections. Hiding the network functions as a means of security by obscurity, but the main user-side issue with a hidden Wi-FI network is that the routers SSID is not broadcast which can make it difficult to find for users on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch. Fortunately, joining a hidden wi-fi network from iOS is really easy, you just have to know how to do it.
To connect to a hidden wi-fi network from an iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to know the following: the wifi routers exact name (since the SSID is not broadcast), the wi-fi networks security type (WPA, WPA2, etc), and the wi-fi network password. The rest is about as easy as connecting to a normally visible and identified wireless network, here’s how to connect to an invisible wireless network from an iOS device:
- Open the Settings app in iOS and go to “Wi-Fi”
- Under the “Choose a Network…” section, tap on “Other…”
- In ‘Name’ put the exact wi-fi network name of the hidden router, this is the SSID name of the wi-fi router that is not broadcast – you must know the name of the network otherwise iOS can’t locate the invisible router
- Tap on “Security” and choose the type of network encryption used (assuming it’s a secure network, choose ‘none’ if there is no wireless security)
- Tap back onto “Other Network” to go to the primary connection screen
- Enter the wi-fi routers password as usual, then tap on “Join” to connect to the hidden wireless network
- Use the Wi-fi as usual, the name will appear as the connected wireless network as usual in iOS Settings
Super easy, right? Once the hidden network is joined, it will be included in the list of active networks, and included in the networks that are automatically joined.
Just like any other wifi router, you can forget the wi-fi network if you want to to stop auto-connections from happening, just keep in mind that if you forget a hidden network, you’ll need to go through the above steps to discover and connect to the wireless router again. Unlike other wi-fi networks however, a hidden network will never randomly popup and ask for a connection, regardless of how you have that setting toggled in iOS.
Somewhat rarely, the iPhone or iPad may trigger an “Unable to Join Network” error message when attempting to connect to a hidden wi-fi network (or any other wireless network for that matter), if that happens you can almost always resolve it by following these steps to reset the network configuration settings on the iOS device, then simply re-connect to the network again as usual.