Series 3: How do I go about making a wireless network hidden?

If you are not sure what model CradlePoint router you have, please click here.
 
 This article was written based upon firmware version 5.0.0.
 

Description:
 
All wireless client devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.) look for nearby, visible wireless networks by performing a “wireless site survey.”  This wireless site survey will show the “Service Set Identifier” (SSID) along with the “Basic Service Set Identifier” (BSSID) for each visible network, allowing you to connect to any open network or secured network with which you have proper credentials with. 
 
SSID:      The visible name of the wireless network
BSSID:   The MAC address of the wireless access point broadcasting the signal
 
Wireless client devices are usually configured with saved “wireless profiles,” which allowing the device to connect using a saved password when it comes into range of a specific SSID.  For increased security, it is also possible to configure the “wireless profile” to only connect to a SSID with a specific BSSID.  This would prevent the device from connecting to another wireless network with the same SSID and password because the BSSID is different.
 
It is also possible to configure the wireless network as a “hidden network” so that it does not broadcast its SSID name to be visible to nearby wireless devices, only the BSSID.   A wireless device configured with a wireless profile for that network’s BSSID will still be able to connect to this hidden network.
 
 
Directions:
 
These directions will walk you through setting the CradlePoint’s wireless network to be “hidden” – that the router will not broadcast an SSID.  Wireless devices configured to connect to CradlePoint’s BSSID will still be able to connect to the hidden network. 
 

  1. Log into the CradlePoint’s administrative console, the default location is http://192.168.0.1.  Click here if you are unsure of how to access the administration pages.
  2. Click Network Settings and WiFi / Local Networks from the dorp-down menu.                                User-added image
  3. Go down to Local Network Interfaces.  Place a checkmark next to the wireless network to be hidden, then click Edit.                                                                                                                                             User-added image
  4. On the Wireless Network Editor screen, place a checkmark next to Hidden. Click Submit at the bottom of the box to save your settings. User-added image

 
After making this change, your network’s SSID will no longer be broadcast and will not be visible for most wireless site surveys.  Only wireless clients configured with a wireless profile to connect to your BSSID will be able to connect.  Directions to configured Microsoft Windows to connect to hidden networks can be found here: (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help/wired-and-wireless-network-connection-problems-in-windows, near the bottom, under “How do I connect to a hidden wireless network?”.
 
 
Note:
 
Be aware of the potential security disadvantages of using a hidden network.  For more information, refer to (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_set_(802.11_network)).


Category: Cradlepoint Series 3

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