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#373771 - 22/02/2022 17:27 Weird WiFi Issue

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1513
Loc: Arizona
I got a new laptop that has a WiFi problem I haven't seen before and haven't been able to fix. This is on Windows 10.

The two main WiFi networks I use both have hidden SSIDs (not near each other physically, so they aren't interfering with each other). When booting up, the laptop will not automatically connect to either of the networks, saying no known networks are available. The list of known networks shows the two that I have saved, so it apparently knows about them (the 'connect automatically' box is checked). The list of available networks shows the hidden network, but it won't automatically connect to them. When I reconnect to that listed hidden network and put in the credentials, it connects no problem, but it lists that connection as <network name> 2 (or really one more than the previous saved network connection) and the original connection now shows up in the available networks list (the hidden network is gone, replaced by the known network).

I've tried deleting the known network, I've tried adding it through the Settings -> Network and Internet -> WiFi -> Manage Known Networks dialog, and it still shows the same behavior. I've rebooted my router and no change in behavior.

However, when the laptop wakes from sleep, it connects automatically.

No other wireless devices on either network has shown this behavior, it is just this new laptop.

Has anybody seen this or have any ideas how to fix it, beyond just never shutting it completely down?

Edited by Tim (22/02/2022 17:30)
Edit Reason: Clarification

#373779 - 24/02/2022 22:32 Re: Weird WiFi Issue [Re: Tim]
old hand

Registered: 27/02/2003
Posts: 758
Loc: Washington, DC metro
If you unhide the SSIDs, is there any connection issue?

If that works, do you need the SSIDs hidden? It provides no meaningful security.

#373780 - 28/02/2022 16:29 Re: Weird WiFi Issue [Re: jmwking]

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1513
Loc: Arizona
I'll have to check when I get back home (on travel currently).

I keep it hidden just to add an extra step. There are plenty of unhidden and a couple open networks near me. As long as those are easier to get into than mine, I'm happy.

#373781 - 01/03/2022 19:05 Re: Weird WiFi Issue [Re: Tim]
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31501
Loc: Seattle, WA
I agree with jmwking - hiding the wifi name is one of those things that looks like an additional layer of security, but really isn't. All it does is inconvenience you, without providing any protection against someone trying to hack their way into your network. Someone with enough resources to get past your WPA2 password would already be using tools which show all networks including hidden ones.

It's similar to MAC address filtering, something that's easily spoofed by anyone who wants to break in, but is a massive hassle for you to maintain. A better analogy might be the "show hidden files" tickybox in Windows Explorer: If someone were browsing for a secret file, that's the first thing they'd hit.

Besides, it robs you of the chance to make a funny wifi name.

Though I would be surprised if your weird wifi issue is induced by hiding the network name. The situation you're describing is supposed to work even if the name is hidden. As you said, you have other systems which work fine that way, so it's something about that particular system. It's worth a try though.
Tony Fabris