How to Hide Your Modem and Router

Keep your network connections hidden

What to Know

  • To hide your Wi-Fi connection, access your modem or router settings and hide the SSID.
  • Some routers don’t let you hide the connection.
  • If you can’t hide the connection, enable strong encryption, and keep an eye on connected devices to stay secure.

This article explains how to hide your modem and router Wi-Fi signals so that nobody can see them.

Hiding a router Wi-Fi network with a laptop.

 iStock / Getty

Why Can Strangers See My Modem and Router Wi-Fi Network?

Every Wi-Fi network has a service set identifier (SSID), which other devices can use to find your Wi-Fi network. In plain terms, the SSID is often referred to as the Wi-Fi network name.

Your router or Wi-Fi modem broadcasts a beacon frame containing valuable information about your Wi-Fi network during regular operation. The information included in the beacon frame consists of the SSID by default, which is why strangers can see your network and why you can see your neighbors’ networks if they are close enough.

If you check your phone’s Wi-Fi connections while walking around a densely populated area, you’re likely to see a lot of networks pop up as your phone reads their beacon frames and sees their SSIDs.

How Can I Hide My Wi-Fi Router?

If you want to hide your Wi-Fi network so that nobody can see it, you need to prevent it from broadcasting its SSID. When you do that, only people who know the SSID will be able to connect.

Hiding an SSID is done through your router management portal or app, and every router manufacturer uses a slightly different system. The basic process is to log into your router or Wi-Fi modem management portal or app, locate network settings, and choose to hide the network or stop broadcasting the SSID.

Here’s what the process looks like with a TP-Link router:

Your portal won't necessarily look exactly like the following example. It may or may not be available for your router. Look for wireless settings and the hide SSID option. If you can't find it, contact your router manufacturer for assistance.

  1. Navigate to using the web browser of your choice or open your router’s management app on your phone.

  2. Enter your admin password and click Log In.

    Log In in a router management portal.
  3. Click Wireless.

    Wireless in the left-hand menu of a router portal.

    Your admin portal may have a networking, wireless networking, or similar page or tab. You’re looking for Wi-Fi network management tools.

  4. Click the Hide SSID check boxes.

    Hide SSID in router wireless settings.

    Your portal may show a different number of networks. It may also have a Hide Network or Hide Wi-Fi Network option instead of Hide SSID.

  5. Click Save.

    Save in router wireless settings.
  6. Your wireless network is now hidden.

Should You Hide Your Internet?

While hiding your SSID may make you feel secure, it isn’t as secure as it seems. While it prevents the casual user from seeing and connecting to your network, it won’t prevent someone from intercepting your wireless data if they have the required knowledge and a reason to do so.

The problem is even if nobody can see your SSID, your router still sends wireless data to your computer or phone, and your devices still send wireless data back to the router. If that data isn’t encrypted, someone could theoretically intercept and read it.

Aside from not protecting you from having your data intercepted, hiding your Wi-Fi internet connection is also inconvenient for you and anyone else who uses your network. You need to remember the exact name of your network and, instead of just selecting it from a list, enter it manually whenever you want to connect a device.

How to Secure Your Wireless Network

If your goal is to secure your wireless network, you can take steps to prevent people from connecting to your network or accessing your data. Even if you hide your network, it’s wise to take these additional measures to secure your network.

Here are some practical ways to secure your Wi-Fi network:

  • Use WPA2 encryption: This is a secure encryption method that can prevent people from accessing your network or data. If your router supports this method of encryption, use it.
  • Use a secure password: Don’t use a password that’s easy to guess. For example, don’t use your name or address.
  • Don’t use the default SSID: If you use the default SSID, a malicious party can tell what kind of router you have, which will help them in their efforts to break in.
  • Change your router admin password: Never leave your router with the default password. If you do, anyone can log in by looking up the default password on the internet. They can then make any changes to your router and network that they want. If your router supports changing the admin login name, change that as well.
  • Enable the firewall if one is available: If your router includes a built-in firewall, make sure to set it up and activate it for additional protection.

If you have a standalone modem, you don't have to worry about hiding its signal since it doesn't broadcast anything over the airwaves. If you have the option of changing the password of the modem, you should.

  • How can I hide router and modem cables?

    There are many practical and attractive ways to hide wires and cables from view. For instance, you can install cable covers, run them under a rug, snake them through the wall, or even place them behind the molding.

  • How do I hide my router and modem from view?

    Look for ways to conceal your modem and router that fit your home's decor. For instance, you could tuck them into a wicker basket, place them in a decorative, open box, set them behind picture frames on a shelf, or keep them on a high shelf out of the line of vision.

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