If you have multiple Wi-Fi networks in your area, you’ll see them all when you try to connect to your own. A list of unnecessary networks, especially ones that are secure and never connect to, can quickly become cluttered and annoying to browse.
Luckily, you can hide other Wi-Fi networks so you can’t see them on your computer. Once you hide these other wireless networks, you have free access to one (or more) that you want to see.
Hiding other Wi-Fi networks is not permanent. You can always undo these steps to see them again. This is discussed at the end of the article.
What does hiding Wi-Fi do?
Hiding other Wi-Fi networks speaks for itself: you won’t be able to see the network. When you select a Wi-Fi network to connect, any network name that matches the name you block will not appear in your list of available networks.
Hiding Wi-Fi networks only works on your computer. In other words, what you do by following the steps below is to prevent them from being listed on other Wi-Fi networks; other people around you can still see and communicate with them.
Blocking a Wi-Fi network will not alert the owner and is not illegal or unethical. Again, you just don’t allow yourself to see it.
Hiding other Wi-Fi networks doesn’t really prevent wireless signals from reaching your area. If you want to block nearby Wi-Fi networks because you are trying to amplify weak signals caused by interference, the best option is to change the Wi-Fi channel. A Wi-Fi channel scanner helps you determine which channels are in use on nearby networks.
How to hide other WiFi networks
Windows does not allow you to hide Wi-Fi networks with an easy-to-use graphical user interface. As good as it is to be able to just right-click on the network you want to hide and press the hide / lock button, this is not what we have.
Instead, you need to run multiple commands through the command line. This is a fairly straightforward process if you follow the instructions carefully.
- Open a Command Prompt as administrator by searching for cmd in the Start menu, right-clicking it and choosing Run as Administrator. If you are using Windows XP, you can simply open Command Prompt from the Start menu without worrying about administrator rights.
- Enter this command: netsh wlan show networks
As you can see, all wireless networks that your computer can connect to right now are listed.
- Find the Wi-Fi network you want to hide and write down its SSID. The one we’ll hide is called HTC_9EF2.
Note. Windows sometimes detects poorly all nearby networks. If you’re looking for the SSID of a network that you’ve seen before, but can’t see right now (possibly due to a weak signal), use a WiFi scanner such as WifiInfoView for a more complete list.
- Open Notepad or another text box, paste the following command into it and replace our SSID with the one you want to hide (don’t forget to put quotes around it):
- Return to Command Prompt and enter this command. You can do this by right-clicking on the black space and choosing Paste.
- That’s it! This particular Wi-Fi network will be hidden. As you can see, if we repeat the command that shows the networks, there will be no more of them.
- You can repeat these steps for each network you want to hide.
- Add the network you want to see / allow (replace NETWORKNAME with SSID):
- Block all other networks :
- To determine which SSIDs are blocked if you forget:
- To unblock a specific Wi-Fi network:
- To unblock all other Wi-Fi networks -Fi:
netsh wlan add filter permission = block ssid = “HTC_9EF2” networktype = Infrastructure
The answer should be: The filter has been successfully added to the system.
If you want to hide multiple networks, you can run another command to add multiple networks to the block filter at once.
This definitely saves time, but know that if you continue with these steps, you will have to undo the command if you ever want to see other networks again, for example if you move your laptop to a different location or change the SSID to your network.
netsh wlan add filter permission = allow ssid = “NETWORKNAME” networktype = infrastructure < / pre>
netsh wlan add filter permission = denyall networktype = Infrastructure
How to undo commands and see networks again
These are the corresponding netsh commands for displaying networks:
netsh wlan show filters
netsh wlan delete filter permission = block ssid = “NETWORKNAME” networktype = Infrastructure
netsh wlan remove filter permission = denyall networktype = infrastructure
How about hiding your WiFi?
If you are trying to hide your network from your neighbors, blocking the router’s SSID from yourself is not an option. Disabling SSID Broadcast on your router, however, and protecting it with a strong password. These are just two of the best ways to keep your Wi-Fi secure and prevent unwanted people from entering.
If your nearby Wi-Fi analyzers don’t really understand technology and security and can’t spoof your MAC address, you can also enable MAC address filtering to further protect your network.