I have created a Wifi Hotspot following the instructions given in this post.

But is there any way to stop it from broadcasting its SSID ? I have had a look in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/hotspot-name file but there is no setting to stop it broadcasting the SSID.

I am not interested in the fact that this does not improve security I just want to decrease the visibility of the hotspot.

  • This older post and even older post suggest that it is not possible to hide SSID. – user37165 Dec 16 '16 at 8:48
  • @clearkimura So no way to hide my SSID AT ALL ? Then what are hidden WiFi networks in Ubuntu ? – ng.newbie Dec 16 '16 at 9:48
  • If you mean by "Connect to Hidden Wi-Fi Network..." in indicator menu, that is for connecting to modem router. The ability to hide SSID can be found in modem routers, but not for typical laptop/PC running Ubuntu as hotspot device. – user37165 Dec 16 '16 at 10:00

SSIDs in 802.11 protocol are defined as 0-32 byte octets. It is indeed possible to "hide" your hotspot and the process is as simple as setting 0 length SSID in your beacon frames. According to the protocol, clients should not show SSIDs with "null" or "zero length" names.

Regular routers have that option in their control panels as "Don't broadcast SSID" or "Ignore broadcast SSID". By hand the same can be achieved by looking for the following in your hostapd files:

# Send empty SSID in beacons and ignore probe request frames that do not
# specify full SSID, i.e., require stations to know SSID.
# default: disabled (0)
# 1 = send empty (length=0) SSID in beacon and ignore probe request for
#     broadcast SSID
# 2 = clear SSID (ASCII 0), but keep the original length (this may be required
#     with some clients that do not support empty SSID) and ignore probe
#     requests for broadcast SSID

Read more about hostapd at gentoo wiki and its configuration here

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