Connect Your iPad to Known or Hidden Networks

If the Wi-Fi network is one that you use all the time — for example, your home or office network — the good news is your iPad or iPad mini remembers any network to which you connect. As soon as a known network comes within range, your tablet makes the connection without a peep.

Each Wi-Fi network has a name — often called the Service Set Identifier, or SSID — that identifies the network to Wi-Fi–friendly devices, such as your iPad or iPad mini. By default, most Wi-Fi networks broadcast the network name so you can see and connect to it.

However, some Wi-Fi networks disable network name broadcasting as a security precaution. The idea here is that if an unauthorized user can’t see the network, he or she can’t attempt to connect to it. However, some devices can pick up the network name when authorized computers connect to it, so this is not a foolproof security measure.

You can still connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network by manually entering the connection settings. You need to know the network name, its security and encryption types, and the password. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Wi-Fi. You see the Wi-Fi Networks screen.

  3. Tap Other. The Other Network screen appears, as shown here.

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  4. Type the network name in the Name text box.

  5. Tap Security to open the Security screen.

  6. Tap the type of security used by the Wi-Fi network: None, WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Enterprise, or WPA2 Enterprise. If you’re not sure, try WPA2, which is the most common type for home networks.

  7. Tap Join. If you chose WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Enterprise, or WPA2 Enterprise, your iPad or iPad mini prompts you to type the password.

  8. Use the keyboard to type the password.

  9. Tap Join. The tablet connects to the network and adds the Wi-Fi network signal strength icon to the status bar.