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I have a group of friends coming over to my place and I have a new Internet connection.

One of the things I often wondered that rather than handing them the ID and the password to connect to the home WiFi (through my router) if it was possible to send them a link/URL that they could just tap on their phones or tablets and the connection would be established then that would really be cool.

Alternatively, if the link provided could automatically select the required SSID and pre-populate with the password and all the user needs to do is tap on the JOIN (if Apple) or CONNECT (if Android) button then that would also be magic.

Please let me know if any of you guys think this is possible.

new thread started with a different idea as advised

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  • So, you want the users to navigate to a link prior to connecting to your wifi? How will the browsers load the page? They will need a working connection, defeating the purpose of the local WiFi! Jun 27, 2017 at 15:14
  • @ThatBrazilianGuy he could just send them all a text message with the URL
    – Narzard
    Jun 27, 2017 at 15:16
  • This is not possible on an iPhone, and on Android, you would need a third party app.
    – geek1011
    Jun 27, 2017 at 17:23
  • Thanks for the response guys but I was thinking that the link would automatically prompt for the the password which would also be pre-populated. Does not need to open up a browser of access any online files.
    – Unbound
    Jun 28, 2017 at 7:49

5 Answers 5

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Late answer, but iOS has had a built-in QR reader in the native Camera app since iOS 11 (released about 2 months after you asked this question.) It supports the same Wi-Fi QR codes as all the Android apps based on the ZXing library. So it's about as universal a solution as you're going to get, given the challenge of standardizing anything in Android.

You can generate these codes using an online service, or using the QR generator of your choice and feeding it this text:

WIFI:S:My_SSID;T:WPA;P:key goes here;H:false;
^    ^         ^     ^               ^
|    |         |     |               +-- hidden SSID (true/false)
|    |         |     +-- WPA key
|    |         +-- encryption type
|    +-- ESSID
+-- code type

Escape any special characters (", ', ;, ,, or \) with a backslash.

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Unfortunately, there's no one single standard guaranteed to be supported on all mobile and desktop/laptop OSes, and the hassles of dealing with even the easiest solutions on each platform are generally greater than the hassle of selecting a network and typing in a password. So by trying to make things easier, you'll just be making it more complex.

For iOS or macOS, you could send them a link to a .mobileconfig "provisioning profile". You can create them with the Apple Configurator 2 app and then post it to a (hopefully secure) web server of your choice. But the hassle of getting iOS or macOS to download and install an unsigned provisioning profile may be more hassle than selecting a network and entering a password.

For Android, you could print out a QRCode using the WIFI: schema defined by the zxing ("Zebra Crossing") open source project. I believe many Android-derived smartphone OSes have support for this built into their camera apps now. This can be pretty sweet when it works, but if it doesn't work for one of your guests, they may have to download and install a camera app or barcode scanner app that supports it.

There are probably similar solutions for Windows and for some desktop/laptop Linux distros.

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  • Thanks Spiff - you are right it does sound very complicated. I just edited the main thread. What do you think of that?
    – Unbound
    Jun 28, 2017 at 14:35
  • @UsamaAhmed SuperUser isn't a discussion forum. Followup questions are best posted as new Questions, so that you can select one accepted Answer for each Question.
    – Spiff
    Jun 28, 2017 at 15:04
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There was an attempt for a universal wifi url, I do not know if it did/will make it through an official RFC.,. https://smartjoin.us/rfcs/wifi-url.html

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    Considering that document is literally the only place on the web that mentions such a thing, I don’t think it holds much value.
    – miken32
    May 5, 2022 at 3:40
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I would say the biggest hurdle is finding something to translate whatever you sent. This seems like a good idea but any solution likely requires a (third-party?) app on each guests' phone.

The closest I could find was WiFi Connection Manager by roamingsoft which allows networks to be added via QR codes. So you would have your guests install that app, scan your code and lastly connect.

This solution is inelegant but honestly nothing else jumped out at me unless perhaps you want to write something yourself.

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    ok, understood. I will post a new thread and delete that bit I added
    – Unbound
    Jun 30, 2017 at 7:55
  • When you do formulate a new question, feel free to link back to this one for reference. Jun 30, 2017 at 7:58
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add a guest account to your wifi user name guest, password guest, and send them a text message that they will keep in their phone . this guest account is usually a good setting to protect your own network your phone computer and gadgets connect to your personnel WIFI. now this is your friends they are not going beyond their guest account..

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    This is a bad idea. That's an extraordinarily easy set of credentials to guess, on a par with "user/admin". Someone on the street could guess that rather easily and, even though the guest network would be segregated from the main one, you would still be liable for whatever they did using your internet connection.. Aug 17, 2019 at 21:13

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