How To Hide & Find A Wi-Fi Extender’s Network (Easy Steps)

Wi-Fi extenders can be great home networking solutions for better coverage, and they offer a reasonable level of security. But some users might prefer to NOT have their extender’s network display at all on any Wi-Fi network lists, either for privacy reasons or to stop certain devices hogging bandwidth on it. Is it possible to do this and hide the extender’s SSID/network, making it invisible and stopping it from broadcasting?

You can hide a Wi-Fi extender’s network by logging in to the settings panel and disabling the SSID broadcast setting. This prevents the extender from broadcasting it’s network(s), and means that users have to manually enter the SSID/password to connect.

Let’s give more detailed steps on how to do this, plus how to find a network you’ve hidden.

How To Prevent An Extender From Broadcasting It’s SSID/Network 

Hiding an extender’s network is a great way of adding a layer of security to it’s network, since it means that not just anybody in range of it could find and try to hack it, as they could if it was left visible.

Making the network invisible means you have to specifically know it’s name to look it up, restricting the number of users who can connect to it.

Here are the simple steps to do this with an extender:

Step #1 – Open up any browser on any device connected to the extender’s network, and type in it’s access URL into the address bar. This is on the product label; here are some common ones:

  • TP Link –
  • Netgear –
  • Linksys –
  • Wavlink –

Then enter the admin username/password you’ve set for it in the boxes:

If you’ve already configured the extender, they’ll be custom ones you’ve set. If it’s brand new out the box, they’ll be what’s on the label. See here if you’ve got problems accessing the extender’s settings. If you forgot the credentials, factory reset the extender.

Step #2 – Once inside the settings, you’re looking for a box/toggle/option to disable the SSID broadcast, mostly under Network or Wireless settings.

Mostly, it’s just a box that you check to Hide SSID broadcast, or something similar:

Sometimes, it’s the reverse, and the box to enable broadcast is checked, and you need to uncheck it to hide the extender’s network. On other models the setting refers to network visibility, which you need to toggle on/off.

Also, if your extender is dual band and is broadcasting both a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz network, you’ll need to disable broadcast on both if you want to.

Be sure you don’t confuse the options of enabling/disabling the extender’s network altogether, and just hiding it but leaving it active. Sometimes the boxes can be close together. You just need to hide the network, but still leave it on if you want to use the extender.

Once you’ve disabled the broadcast/visibility, your Wi-Fi extender is  still working, but no longer broadcasts it’s network. Therefore any nearby devices that bring up their Wi-Fi settings and search for networks in range, your Wi-Fi extender will not show up, even though it’s network is active and working.

Be sure to note down your extender’s exact network name/SSID and password (same as your router), as new devices will need them to connect manually.

How To Find A Hidden Extender Network

Once your extender’s network is invisible, it can be connected to, but you need to do it manually by searching for/entering the SSID and password on your device’s Wi-Fi settings.

Here are the steps for different devices:


Click on the Wi-Fi/globe symbol in the bottom right corner, then click on Hidden Network on the Wi-Fi list that comes up:

Then enter the extender’s network name/SSID and password into the boxes that come up to connect (video demo here).


Go to Settings….Wi-Fi/Connections. Then go the Add Network/+ at the bottom of the Wi-Fi list and enter the SSID/password of the extender manually to connect.

What If You Hide An Extender’s Network But Then Forget The Credentials?

It can happen sometimes that you hide an extender’s network and think “ah, no worries, I’ll remember what it was called”. But 6 months down the line you have another device you want to connect and you realize you don’t remember what the network was called to look it up manually.

In these cases, your best option is the factory reset the extender to revert all settings to default, and then re-configure it from scratch.

To do this, push a sharp object into the reset hole on the extender when it’s plugged in, and wait a few seconds for the LED to blink/go out:


Then wait a minute or two for it to re-initialize, and set up the extender from scratch again, re-connecting it to your router and issuing it with a new SSID/password, which you can note down and make invisible again if you want.

There’s a couple of ways of setting up an extender; follow our links for guides to the different methods:

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