I've just noticed something very, very, strange this evening. I see a network with the name/SSID "Hidden network" virtually everywhere that I go. I want to know why I'm seeing this! Its a visible network, with a perfect signal strength, and is actually secured. Its not actually "hidden", because my machine shows its there.

When I say I've seen this network everywhere, I do mean everywhere! I see it at school, and now at home! I'm feeling quite creeped out right now

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    I think this is a method provided to you to connect to a hidden network. E.g you click on it to specify the actual SSID, etc.
    – Vader
    Nov 19, 2014 at 3:05

6 Answers 6


All this means is that your computer sees a wireless broadcast that is not presenting a SSID. If you were to attempt to use it the first thing your connection wizard will ask for is the SSID which you would input. Then it would ask your for the security information like typical wireless connections. You will see these in many different places. Nothing to be bothered by.

Some use it as they think it makes them more secure when in reality it is security through obscurity. I have one connection like that in my house for some of my inferior devices that cant support higher levels of encryption.

  • Glad to know you found the right answer for you scenario. I can see why I came to the conclusion I did.
    – Matt
    Jun 30, 2016 at 3:05

New routers from Verizon and Xfinity have a "Hidden Network" as part of a new initiative to boost speeds without installing actual infrastructure. It's a new way to extend signal to hard to reach places like the rural midwest where 1 tower is enough to supply a whole zip code by bouncing signal off routers in the neighborhood. To get rid of this "HIdden Network" you have to log into your Verizon, or Comcast account and Opt Out. You can do so in your account or call customer service. Someone from technical support will access your router, stop the Hidden Network, and you should see a small boost of 30mb in performance from your router.

Here are some additional information about what's happening.



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    Welcome to Super User! Please quote the essential parts of the answer from the reference link(s), as the answer can become invalid if the linked page(s) change.
    – DavidPostill
    Jun 29, 2016 at 8:58
  • This is really informative. I don't live there anymore (apartment complex) but I do think it was my neighbors wifi. I'd never heard of this either. Very clever on Comcast and Verizon's part.
    – jayftw
    Jun 30, 2016 at 2:53
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    The Comcast Xfinity routers around here do NOT present as "Hidden Network", they broadcast the SSID "Xfinity WiFi" or some such. A Hidden Network is merely one that does not broadcast an SSID.
    – kreemoweet
    Oct 15, 2016 at 22:59

Just for the record, this "Hidden Network" appears in my case in a remote location, where no other neighbor or broadcasting device exist. It also appears to have full strength while walking around the house, whereas the WiFi's strength obviously varies. This probably shows that the "Hidden Network" originates from the laptop itself. Also as stated by others this "Hidden Network" does not appear in the list of any other WiFi capable devices, including an iPAD, an Android phone and a Windows 10 Mobile phone which I used to scan for available WiFi networks. So I have concluded this is not a real network, just a wizard that walks you through the process to enter SSID etc and join any hidden network, IF it actually exists.


It's hidden in the sense that you can't find it amongst the other networks your router is broadcasting when you look for it using your router's web interface, so if you want to disable it, it's not there to disable with the rest of your networks. It is being broadcast. Mine shows up as an "[Unknown]" 5G network. It appears to be piggybacked right next to my normal visible 5G network with the same (or almost the same) MAC address.

Edit for clarification: I'm on Verizon FiOS.


Click on the internet wifi symbol on lower right corner. Scroll down list, if you see "Hidden Network", you will scroll back to the top. You will click on wifi "ON" button. Turn it off. Wait 10 seconds, then turn it on. "Hidden Network" will be gone. Your wifi will work as it should. You will have to check the list every now and then, because the "Hidden Network" will reappear at times and you will have to do this procedure again.


This is merely one of your neighbors hiding the brand of his or her WiFi router, as with most routers the SSID info will include the brand. This can assist in "cracking" your network, as some manufacturers used limited combinations of pass codes. You can change how others see your wireless network to whatever name you choose.

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