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Hidden SSIDs

Configuring Hidden SSIDs

The Cisco  Meraki Enterprise Cloud Controller allows for you to hide one or more SSIDs (SSID Cloaking). Please keep in mind that hiding an SSID does not provide robust security; instead, Cisco Meraki recommends using WPA or WPA2.  One suggested use of hidden SSIDs is to reduce the "clutter" and prevent users from mistakenly trying to associate with an SSID to which they are not supposed to associate. 

If you decide to use hidden SSIDs, please be aware that some users may need further technical support to properly configure and connect to an SSID that is not visible in common wireless network utilities. This can add extra work for IT administrators because they will have to go to every machine and manually configure the SSID, rather than telling users what network to connect to and the password. 

To configure a hidden SSID, please follow the following steps:

 

  1. Go to your dashboard account and sign in to the network you would like to manage
  2. Navigate to Configure > SSID Availability
  3. Select the SSID you would like to manage
  4. For SSID Visibility, choose Hide this SSID
  5. Save your changes

Connecting to Hidden SSIDs 

Wireless clients sweep the channels and listen to beacon frames sent by AP's advertising their wireless networks (SSID's). Clients collect these beacons to populate in their available wireless network list. 

When the SSID visibility drop down is set to Hide this SSID under Configure > SSID availability, a Meraki AP will not send beacon frames for that wireless network. Therefore, the wireless network profile must be configured manually on the wireless client so they can connect. 

When configuring the wireless profile on the client device the SSID name and WPA2 passphrase are case sensitive and must be identical to how they are configured in Dashboard. If you do not have the SSID name value entered correctly on your wireless client, your device will not be able to receive a response from the AP when probing for the wireless network. 

WPA2 uses the SSID value and the passphrase to create the Pairwise Master Key. If you have the either the SSID value or passphrase value entered incorrectly on your wireless client,  you will have the wrong PMK value and will not be able connect. If you are unable to connect to a hidden wireless network verify that the SSID name and WPA2 passphrase are configured identically on the wireless client and on Dashboard. 

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