Step-by-Step Guide to Create a Hidden Network on Netgear Range Extender

Sep 11, 2023 | Blog, How to | 0 comments

Last Updated on September 11, 2023

Creating a hidden network on your Netgear range extender is a great way to add an extra layer of security and privacy to your wireless network. With a hidden network, you don’t broadcast the network name (SSID), so the network won’t show up when scanning for available WiFi networks in the area. This prevents unauthorized users from easily accessing the network.

The process for creating a hidden network is relatively straightforward on most Netgear extender models, including the EX2700, EX3700, EX3800, EX6000, EX6100, EX6120, EX6130, EX6150, EX6200, EX7000, and many others. The steps are very similar across these range extender models, so you can easily create a hidden network once you know how.

A hidden network is also referred to as an invisible network or closed network since you are essentially hiding the SSID from public view. The network will not appear when browsing for nearby connections on your phone, laptop, or other device. Only those who know the network name and password will be able to connect. This provides an extra layer of security and obscurity versus a visible network that openly broadcasts the SSID.

 In this article, we’ll walk through the step-by-step process for setting up a hidden network on popular Netgear extender models.

   

Steps to Create a Hidden Network on Netgear Range Extender

The step-by-step process involves logging into the extender’s web admin interface, navigating to the wireless settings, configuring the network SSID and disabling SSID broadcast, saving the changes, and then manually connecting devices to the hidden network using the SSID and password. Following these simple steps allows you to easily create a hidden WiFi network on your Netgear range extender for increased privacy and security.

Total Time: 10 minutes

  1. Access the extender’s web interface by entering its IP address in a web browser

    The first step is to access the admin interface used to configure your Netgear range extender. To do this, you’ll need to log in to the extender’s web-based control panel. Start by connecting your computer or mobile device to the extender’s wireless network. Then open a web browser and enter the IP address of the extender (default is usually 192.168.1.250 or mywifiext.net). This will bring up the login screen for the extender’s admin interface.

  2. Navigate to the Wireless Settings or Wireless Configuration page

    Once logged into your extender’s admin interface, you need to navigate to the page that manages the wireless settings and configurations. This may be called something like “Wireless Settings,” “Wireless Configuration,” or “Wireless Setup.” Consult your extender’s user manual if you’re not sure where to find the wireless network settings.

  3. Locate the section for configuring the extender’s wireless network and SSID

    On the Wireless Settings page, look for the section related to configuring the extender’s SSID and wireless network settings. There may be separate sections for configuring the extender’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks if it supports dual-band. Make sure you are configuring the correct section for the network you want to make hidden.

  4. Enter a name for the hidden network in the Network Name (SSID) field

    In the section for configuring the SSID, you’ll see a field labeled “Network Name” or “SSID” where you can enter the SSID for your hidden network. Enter the name you want to use here, such as “HiddenNetwork“. This will be the SSID devices will need to connect to.

  5. Uncheck the “Enable SSID Broadcast” option

    The key setting for creating a hidden network is to disable SSID broadcast. Look for a checkbox labeled “Enable SSID Broadcast” and uncheck it. This prevents the SSID from being broadcasted out to devices scanning for networks.

  6. Save the changes by clicking Apply or Save

    Once you’ve entered your hidden SSID and disabled SSID broadcast, save your changes! Click “Apply” or “Save” at the bottom of the screen. Your extender will now have a hidden network configured.

  7. Connect devices to the hidden network by manually entering the SSID and password

    Because the SSID is hidden, devices won’t automatically detect the network when scanning. You’ll have to manually connect to the hidden network by entering its SSID and the WiFi password on each device. Your wireless devices should maintain the connection to your hidden network once successfully connected.

   

Tips for Using a Hidden Network

Once you have set up a hidden network on your Netgear range extender, there are some best practices and tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth experience while benefiting from enhanced security.

Tips for Using a Hidden Network:

  • Set a strong password to secure the wireless network. Because your SSID is hidden, the password becomes the main line of defense for restricting access to your network. Make sure to set a strong password that would be difficult for others to crack. Use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Use WPA2 or WPA3 encryption if your devices are compatible. Make sure to use the latest WPA2 or WPA3 WiFi security protocols to encrypt your wireless transmissions. Avoid using outdated WEP or WPA encryption if possible. WPA2 or WPA3 will provide the highest level of security for your hidden network.
  • Remember that you’ll need to manually connect devices since the SSID is not visible. Because you disabled SSID broadcast, you won’t be able to easily select the hidden network from your list of connections. Be prepared to enter the SSID and password manually when connecting devices.
  • You can temporarily enable SSID broadcast to easily connect a new device then disable it again. If you need to add a new device to your hidden network, you can temporarily re-enable SSID broadcast so the device can detect the network, then disable broadcasting again after connecting.
  • Change the default extender admin password to prevent unauthorized changes. Don’t leave the default password set, or someone could log into the extender and alter your settings.

Overall, just be cautious when connecting devices and securing your hidden network. With good practices, a hidden network can significantly improve your WiFi privacy and security.

Why you Can’t Create a Hidden Netgear Extender Network?

While creating a hidden network on your Netgear extender is usually straightforward, there are some situations where you may encounter issues preventing you from setting up a hidden SSID.

Older extender hardware or firmware

Some older Netgear extender models may not support disabling SSID broadcast in firmware. Check if your model supports it.

Access point doesn’t allow hidden networks

If extending a network from a router, AP, or gateway, check it allows config of hidden networks.

Misconfigured access point and extender setup

Make sure AP and extender are aligned on configurations for wireless settings like channel, security protocol, etc. Conflicts can prevent proper extension of the hidden network.

Trying to extend a hidden SSID

Extenders may not be able to connect to existing hidden networks you want to extend. The AP SSID may need to be visible first.

Wrong extender admin password

You’ll need the correct extender admin password to access the web interface and change settings like the SSID. Reset password if forgotten.

Not saving extender config changes

Don’t forget to properly save and apply changes after disabling SSID broadcast and configuring the hidden network.

   

Article you might be intrested in: What is the guest WiFi Network?

Closing Thoughts

Creating a hidden network on your Netgear range extender provides an extra layer of security and privacy for your wireless network. By hiding your network SSID and disabling SSID broadcast, you prevent unauthorized users from easily accessing your network since it won’t show up in scans. The process for setting up a hidden network is relatively easy across most Netgear extender models – simply access the extender’s admin interface, navigate to the wireless settings, configure the SSID and disable SSID broadcast, and connect devices manually.

Keep your hidden network secured with a strong wireless password and the latest WPA2/WPA3 encryption. You can also temporarily broadcast the SSID when needed to connect a new device. Setting up a hidden network is a great way to improve your overall wireless security and conceal your network from unnecessary connections. Just follow the outlined steps to easily create a hidden network on Netgear range extender.

What are the benefits of a hidden network on my Netgear extender?

A hidden network does not broadcast its SSID, so it provides more privacy and security since the network name is not visible to others. This prevents unauthorized users from easily finding and attempting to connect to the network.

Will a hidden network reduce my WiFi signal strength?

No, hiding the SSID does not affect your actual wireless coverage or signal strength. It only prevents the network name from being seen when scanning.

How do I find my extender’s IP address to access the admin interface?

Most Netgear extenders default to 192.168.1.250 or mywifiext.net. You can also check your router admin interface which may list connected devices and their IP addresses.

Do I need to setup a hidden network on my main router too?

No, you only need to configure the hidden SSID on the extender. It will relay the hidden network from your main router or access point.

I enabled a hidden network but can’t connect. What should I do?

Double check that you entered the exact hidden SSID and password. You may need to temporarily make the network visible again to connect your device.

   

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