Windows Phone 7 can't connect to hidden wireless networks? Yikes.

[This will make your blood boil for some of you. Please try to keep your rage in check in the comments, kthx!]

Paul Thurrott, who is now safely in Germany playing with his Windows Phone 7 developer device, has found yet another limitation (see the earlier write up on embedded calendars).

Evidently, Windows Phone 7 cannot see ergo connect to hidden wireless networks, the kind where you don't broadcast your SSID. Although not a lot of people go this extra step for security, we're sure a few of you do and in this case, it appears you are out of luck.

We'll just chalk this up to a v1.0 release but boy, we are sure looking forward to how frequently and how significant these planned Microsoft OS updates are going to be for the platform.

P.S. We should also note that the OS is not RTM/Gold yet, so this and other features could still easily be added before release

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • This is pretty crazy. I normally can understand certain omission. But people are more or less being penalised for protecting network but not being able to connect. At the same they are over reaching and protecting people through their email client. I'll see how the final product goes this October(hopefully!) and may still get one assuming these are simply just 1.0 omission and will be rectified shortly :D
  • The ZuneHD as of v4.5 can connect, it gives you the option to add your info and so on. So I figure WP7 will have this as well, it could just be missing atm in this preview build that's went out to dev phones and it will be in the final RTM build. Only time will tell. But not broadcasting a SSID and going with WEP isn't really helping you much security wise.
  • hiding your SSID is hardly effective anymore, same for MAC address filtering. the only effective way to secure your wireless is to use the strongest form of encryption possible on the device. If you can't do WPA2, buy a wireless device that can.
  • Hiding your SSID is not a form of security.. That is one of those myths that just will never die. Anybody with ill intent is going to get your SSID very quickly with a wireless sniffer.
  • Come on guys, don't turn into iPhone users. "Sure it can't do it, but Apple says it's better this way and it's true!"
  • Another day, another disappointment from WP7. Next thing you know they're going to tell us you have to use iTunes to sync it! Err, wait, that's already partially true, you have to use Zune. Damn!
  • LOL are U's kidding me "we can't connect to hidden networks... waaa waaa" - some pepole are just funny. That wont stop pepole from buying this phone.
    I'm a Java developer and I've been a developer for quite a long time, now you can be sure I'm not a MS fan (No Java developer is!), But I've seen this behaviour before when MS released their .NET platform. Painfull as it is but MS always does that, they just take an idea that isnt theirs, copy it and makes tons of money from it. You can bet your arse they will with this one too.
  • There is no connection between "it cannot see" and "it cannot connect to" wireless networks.
    Actually it works the same way on Windows Mobile 6.5(.x) at the moment. You tick that you want to connect to a hidden network then type in your (hidden) SSID and password and you are connected.
  • Fair enough distinction--was trying to keep it simple, but you're right.