Connect to a hidden wireless network

It is possible to set up a wireless network so that it is “hidden.” Hidden networks won’t show up in the list of wireless networks displayed in the Network settings. To connect to a hidden wireless network:

  1. Open the system menu from the right side of the top bar.

  2. Select Wi-Fi Not Connected. The Wi-Fi section of the menu will expand.

  3. Click Wi-Fi Settings.

  4. Press the menu button in the top-right corner of the window and select Connect to Hidden Network….

  5. In the window that appears, select a previously-connected hidden network using the Connection drop-down list, or New for a new one.

  6. For a new connection, type the network name and choose the type of wireless security from the Wi-Fi security drop-down list.

  7. Enter the password or other security details.

  8. Click Connect.

You may have to check the settings of the wireless access point or router to see what the network name is. If you don’t have the network name (SSID), you can use the BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifier, the access point’s MAC address), which looks something like 02:00:01:02:03:04 and can usually be found on the underside of the access point.

You should also check the security settings for the wireless access point. Look for terms like WEP and WPA.

You may think that hiding your wireless network will improve security by preventing people who don’t know about it from connecting. In practice, this is not the case; the network is slightly harder to find but it is still detectable.