Making your wireless network invisible: 7 steps (with pictures)

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Making your wireless network invisible: 7 steps (with pictures)
Making your wireless network invisible: 7 steps (with pictures)
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Hiding your wireless network is one of the best things you can do to increase the security of your home network. It makes it much harder for people to misuse your Wi-Fi network and also makes it harder for hackers to access your system and steal important information. Especially if you live in an apartment complex, securing your wireless network is an important consideration to take.

Steps

Find Your WiFi Password when You Forgot It Step 1

Step 1. Understand how people can find and access your wireless network

Every wireless network has an SSID (Service Set Identifier). The SSID is a sequence of characters, up to a maximum of 32 characters, that uniquely identifies your wireless network. Think of the name of your network. By default, most systems will broadcast this SSID to make it easier for you to find and use it. However, this also offers people with malicious intent easier access to your network.

  • The SSID is what you will actually hide when the process is complete.
  • If you've ever had access to a wireless network at a restaurant or coffee shop, you've used an SSID. At many restaurants or coffee shops, the SSID will be the name of the location.
Make Your Wireless Network Invisible Step 2

Step 2. Enter the IP address of your router in the address bar of your internet browser

If you've never logged into your router before, you'll first need to find out your router's IP address. The default address for almost all systems is '192.168.1.1.'. To log in to your router, enter this address into your internet browser when you are connected to your network.

  • If the above address does not take you to a page that asks you to enter login information, please refer to your router's manual. You can also look at the label on your router that contains information such as the network key, SSID, and encryption key. This label is usually located at the bottom of most routers.
  • You can also check this page for common default IP addresses. One of these addresses will likely take you to your router's login page when you enter it into your browser's address bar.
Make Your Wireless Network Invisible Step 3

Step 3. Enter your login details to access the control panel

If you entered the correct IP address, you will be prompted to log in with a username and password. Hopefully you have set this differently than the default. If not, please refer to your router's manual for the default username and login details.

If you've never changed your credentials, it's likely that the username is "admin" and the password is blank. Make sure to change this as soon as possible to improve the security of your network

Make Your Wireless Network Invisible Step 4

Step 4. Now that your network's control panel is open, select 'Home Network/Wireless Network/WLAN' or a similar option

This is the section of the control panel where you can change certain default settings for your network.

Click the option to configure the network. This button is called something like 'Configure' or 'Change' or something like that

Make Your Wireless Network Invisible Step 5

Step 5. Deselect any option that says something like:

'Broadcast Network Name'. The option may also be called 'Hide SSID'. With this change, your browser will no longer automatically display its name to anyone with a Wi-Fi device. However, know that anyone who wants to use your network will now have to enter its name into their device.

Make Your Wireless Network Invisible Step 6

Step 6. Consider these additional options to increase the security of your browser

If you're trying to make your network invisible, you're probably worried about people accessing your network. Hiding your network's SSID won't really help. Hackers can still intercept the radio waves constantly broadcast from your router and gain access to your network. Make these changes in the same part of the control panel where you hid your SSID:

  • Enable MAC filtering. MAC (Media Access Control) addresses are identifiers that all WiFi devices have. If you enable MAC filtering, you must manually enter which addresses can access your wireless network. To find out your device's MAC address, see our article on how to find your MAC address.
  • Enable WPA2 encryption. WPA2 encryption is one of the best ways to increase the security of your network. Navigate to the security section of your network's control panel. Select WPA2 from any drop-down menu or list box. You will be prompted to enter a PSK (pre-shared key). This is the code that every device connecting to your network must enter before it can access the network. Keep this code in a safe place and try to make it as long as possible.

    Note that older (pre-2007) routers will not have WPA2 capabilities

Make Your Wireless Network Invisible Step 7

Step 7. Click on 'Apply' or a similar button

Your network settings have now been changed.

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