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Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

TerryJColes
Luminary

Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

Some of the devices on my network appear to lose the WiFi signal when I have hidden the SSID.  So far, these seem to be only Android devices; (a Nexus 5 phone and an ancient Asus Transformer), but not all of the people who will want to connect have turned up yet.  Various Windows, Linux and TV boxes seem to work fine.

 

Is this a known problem and is their a solution?

Message 1 of 9

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William10a
Master

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

All it does is to force you to enter the network name and pass phrease really manually  not much help your radios still give your router  away to someone with enough time and the software.

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LeeH
Prodigy

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

The configuration of the devices trying to connect is the problem, not the routers configuration.  I think my phone has a setting for connecting to hidden SSID's, but I don't use it.

Message 2 of 9
TerryJColes
Luminary

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

Actually, I never thought that the Router was likely to be the problem; I was looking for advice on how to work round this (if possible).

 

I can't see anything in the wireless configuration for these devices that mentions SSIDs, hidden or otherwise.

Message 3 of 9
LeeH
Prodigy

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

Is it important to you to have hidden SSID's?  What is your purpose?

Message 4 of 9
TerryJColes
Luminary

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

Just enhanced security.  I simply want to make it more difficult for someone to log in to my network.

 

I am using MAC Address filtering (ie the Acess Control), so it may be a bit OTT.  However, SSID hiding was one of the reasons that I bought this Router.

Message 5 of 9
TerryJColes
Luminary

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

Answering myself.  Someone on my local Linux User Group provided the answer.  Apparently, Android has two ways of storing the WiFi Credentials.  When the user connects by clicking on the SSID in the WiFi drop list, it saves the credentials for use in the future if the user encounters that SSID again.  The second way is to manually save the credentials in the WiFi Settings dialog, whereupon they are permanently listed as saved and the network can be accessed by clicking on it's entry in the same place.

 

I can only assume that Android's default method stores the credentials against the SSID, whereas the 'Saved' method (and other OSs) store it against the MAC Address of the Access Point.  Anyway they all connect to hidden networks; even my Raspberry Pi!

 

Hopefully, this answer might be of some use to anyone else who stumbles acroos the problem.

Message 6 of 9
TerryJColes
Luminary

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

Answering myself again.  The debate on my local Linux User Group mailing list hotted up overnight, with several individuals citing reasons for not cloaking the network due to more vulnerabilities not less.  See Wikipedia and How-To Geek.  As a result, I've now turned SSID hiding off for the moment.

 

What I'd like to know is what others think of this debate and if things are as bad as are implied in the links, why do Netgear and other device manufacturers provide the facility?

Message 7 of 9
StephenB
Guru

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden


@TerryJColes wrote:

What I'd like to know is what others think of this debate and if things are as bad as are implied in the links, why do Netgear and other device manufacturers provide the facility?


Hiding the SSID has no security benefit.  If the network still uses WPA, I don't think hiding the network opens any new security issues.

 

However, it can result in connection problems.

Message 8 of 9
William10a
Master

Re: Some Devices lose the WiFi after SSID is hidden

All it does is to force you to enter the network name and pass phrease really manually  not much help your radios still give your router  away to someone with enough time and the software.

View solution in original post

Message 9 of 9
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