I have heard about Hidden WIFI networks. Why and how/what should I do about them?
Hidden WIFI Names are simply that. WIFI names that will not appear in your list but in fact are available if you know the exact name and password.
First you might ask why? Well it is primarily availalble for security. Let's talk about your WIFI network at home. You see your SSID (Service SET IDentifier = Name of the WIFI) and so does everyone else within range. If they know something about you they may be able to guess your password. And please tell me you have a good password. Like the dogs name you yell outside your door so everyone can hear.
Well if you create the WIFI SSID name as Hidden then no one including yourself can even try to access your WIFI without knowing the exact name. You can because you didn't name it after your CAT.
All you do to access it is choose Other Name/Hidden name on your device and you will enter the WIFI name and then your password. Hopefully they won't guess both. The way you initially specify the Hidden SSID name is different on your WIFI devices.
To specify the hidden SSID on your do a search for hidden SSID and your device name. You only have to do this once, so it is not painful. It will also give you better security, and it will stop those strange cars parked outside your house from using your WIFI internet access and are watching their favorite Netflix movies or gosh knows what.
This is especially important if you are paying for usage. If you use your smartphone as a hotspot this is especially important. However at the time of this writing the iPhone does not offer hiding the hotspot SSID. Some Andoid devices allow this, some do not. I suggest hiding your SSID on all of your WIFI AP's. ALSO USE A complex password.
If the hiding the SSID is a problem when you have guests, you can set up a "Guest" SSID that will limit users that use this AP to only being able to access the internet. They cannot access any device on your network. This is a good idea regardless of using hidden SSID's. OK I have said SSID too many times.