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How to "hide" AE wifi network?

6601 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2011 3:36 PM by Bob Timmons RSS
bobio Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 1, 2011 7:07 PM
Is it possible to set my AE base station to NOT announce its name to the entire neighborhood? If so, how? And, if so, is there any disadvantage to doing this? Thank you! (I do have my network protected with a password).
Mac Pro Quad Core + iMac Intel 2.16/2 +Macbook 2.2/2, Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPod Touch, 2G
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,875 points)
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    Mar 1, 2011 8:07 PM (in response to bobio)
    Is it possible to set my AE base station to NOT announce its name to the entire neighborhood?


    Yes
    Open AirPort Utility - click Manual Setup
    Click the Wireless tab below the row of icons
    Click Wireless Network Options
    Enter a check mark next to Create a Closed Network
    Click Done, then Click Update

    Downsides...there are plenty of free utilities available on the Internet that will reveal your network in seconds, so a Closed Network setting is considered a thing of the past. True, it might keep a few honest neighbors from seeing the name of your network, but the neighborhood kids and any computer guys looking for free wi-fi will spot it very quickly, so be sure to use good security like WPA2 Personal and a long, non-dictionary password to make things more difficult for them.
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • Bimmer123 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 11, 2011 9:50 PM (in response to bobio)
    I have "hidden" my network for nearly 4 years. Until the latest update. Now my laptop cannot connect. I'm waiting for the "next" update.
    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • tbux Level 4 Level 4 (1,665 points)
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    Mar 12, 2011 3:13 PM (in response to bobio)
    I found Closed Network to be a nuisance and stopped using it years ago. As pointed out by Bob it offers almost no security.
    MBP Unibody 15 " 2.53GHz SSD 4GB RAM, MBP 15" 2.4GHz 4GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • ismael_vafe Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2011 12:39 PM (in response to Bob Timmons)
    Thanks for your answer.
    I have tried doing that through Airport Utility, but I can't click on the 'Manual Setup'.

    What I'm trying to do is share the internet connection from my Macbook to my other devices, without other people noticing, i.e. creating a closed network. However, I've been unable to do that.

    Can you help?
    Macbook MacBook 13-inch Aluminum Late 2008, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,875 points)
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    Apr 2, 2011 1:20 PM (in response to ismael_vafe)
    Try a power cycle of your entire network. Power everything down, order is not important

    Wait a moment, then start your modem first and let it run a moment by itself
    Start the AirPort Extreme the same way
    Start other devices the same way, one at a time until all devices are powered back up.

    If still no connection, temporarily connect an ethernet cable from your computer to one of the LAN <-> ports on the AirPort Extreme and power cycle again.
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone
  • ismael_vafe Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2011 1:31 PM (in response to Bob Timmons)
    Thanks Tim.

    I forgot to mention what's causing the problem-- I'm not using any external device, i.e. Airport Extreme.
    I'm creating a network with the Macbook's own airport. (ad-hoc network) So when the Airport Utility searches for external devices, obviously it doesn't find any.

    Essentially, I'm sharing my Macbook's ethernet connection through Airport. But I would like to have this hidden, so other people don't see this wireless on their devices.
    Macbook MacBook 13-inch Aluminum Late 2008, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • Bob Timmons Level 9 Level 9 (75,875 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2011 3:36 PM (in response to ismael_vafe)
    Thanks for the clarification. You won't be able to "hide" your network using this type of configuration because there are no provisions to do so. You'll need to move to a router to be able to do that. But, keep in mind that anyone with a free scanner available readily on the Internet will "see" your network in seconds.

    Message was edited by: Bob Timmons
    MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7), Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, iPhone

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