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iOS 11 Makes it Easy to Share Your Wi-Fi Password With Nearby Friends

With the developer beta of iOS 11 out in the wild, new features of the operating system have been coming to light throughout the week, including an unobtrusive volume indicator and new AirPods controls. In iOS 11, users will also be able to easily join a Wi-Fi network thanks to a new password sharing process between trusted devices, which should reduce the hassle of joining new networks.

The feature allows one iOS device with knowledge of a Wi-Fi network's password to grant access to a separate iOS device that still needs the password in question. 9to5Mac detailed an example where an iPad was already on a Wi-Fi network, while an iPhone still required the Wi-Fi password to connect.

All devices must be running iOS 11, and it appears that macOS High Sierra will support the feature as well.

Images via 9to5Mac

After navigating to Settings > Wi-Fi and choosing the right network, the iPhone user is greeted with the traditional password screen (seen above), but on iOS 11 when the iPhone is brought near the iPad, a card on the iPad notifies its user that the iPhone wants to join the network (seen below).

The iPad user can then tap and send their password to the iPhone, which recognizes the password, fills out the information, and connect to the Wi-Fi. As Apple notes, the iOS device or Mac with knowledge of the network's password must be unlocked for the transfer process to work.


There are plenty more iOS 11 tidbits to discover in the wake of the official unveiling this week at WWDC, so be sure to check out the MacRumors iOS 11 roundup to find out everything we know about the newest version of iOS.


Top Rated Comments

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18 months ago

What about corporate situations where we don't want our end users having or knowing the password? Is there any way as an IT administrator to disable this for our network?


Corporate wifi should be using radius type authentication not PSK.
Rating: 10 Votes
18 months ago

If someone wants access to your network, you don’t have to tell them the password. You can ask for their device and type the password in yourself. Then they have access to the network but don’t know your password. This seems to bypass that bit of security as now anyone with access to your network could theoretically grant access to additional people.

This is not secure at all. For example, if the person has activated iCloud Keychain, the Wifi password may be synced to a Mac where it can simply be viewed in Keychain Access.

That said, if you’re that concerned with securing your network, either properly vet those you grant access to, use a different authenticion method, guest network, etc.

Yup.
Rating: 9 Votes
18 months ago
What about corporate situations where we don't want our end users having or knowing the password? Is there any way as an IT administrator to disable this for our network?
Rating: 7 Votes
18 months ago

How would that be any different than verbally telling someone the password? They could then verbally tell someone else...


If someone wants access to your network, you don’t have to tell them the password. You can ask for their device and type the password in yourself. Then they have access to the network but don’t know your password. This seems to bypass that bit of security as now anyone with access to your network could theoretically grant access to additional people.

That said, if you’re that concerned with securing your network, either properly vet those you grant access to, use a different authenticion method, guest network, etc.
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago

After everyone realizes they will lose all their 32 bit free & other games, they will realize that IOS 11 is as Steve Jobs once said, "A Bag of Hurt."


Just like when steve removed support for legacy 16 bit Mac apps... Or when microsoft removed win 3.1 app support.. you can't support old software forever :P
Rating: 5 Votes
18 months ago

I hope this doesn't allow someone who received the password via sharing to then share that password with others; otherwise it seems like it could lead to an explosion of new Wi-Fi clients when you only meant to let one on your network.


How would that be any different than verbally telling someone the password? They could then verbally tell someone else...

Unless you're thinking of a different scenario where people are now being granted access under the new system, where they wouldn't have been given the password under the old...
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago

After everyone realizes they will lose all their 32 bit free & other games, they will realize that IOS 11 is as Steve Jobs once said, "A Bag of Hurt."


Yeah, I checked and out of the many dozens of apps on my phone, ONE of them wasn't ready to go, and I hadn't used that app in many many months. I think somehow society will live on.
Rating: 4 Votes
18 months ago

No thanks,the people that need my wifi password already know it. What's wrong with just write it on a piece of paper,or type it on their devices myself,as I usually do? I don't want my password spread to whoever want it.



Rating: 3 Votes
18 months ago
I hope this doesn't allow someone who received the password via sharing to then share that password with others; otherwise it seems like it could lead to an explosion of new Wi-Fi clients when you only meant to let one on your network. :)

What about corporate situations where we don't want our end users having or knowing the password? Is there any way as an IT administrator to disable this for our network?


I hope you're using RADIUS (username and password, or "enterprise") authentication, which I doubt this iOS feature supports--or at least I hope it doesn't, but I guess maybe it would be nice if someone could confirm. If you're just using one password (pre-shared key/PSK), I don't see how this could be disabled on a per-network level except perhaps on corporate-owned devices, where Configurator or Casper/JSS might be able prevent such devices from being the "sharer" (but that won't help other devices).
Rating: 3 Votes
18 months ago

If someone wants access to your network, you don’t have to tell them the password. You can ask for their device and type the password in yourself. Then they have access to the network but don’t know your password. This seems to bypass that bit of security as now anyone with access to your network could theoretically grant access to additional people.

That said, if you’re that concerned with securing your network, either properly vet those you grant access to, use a different authenticion method, guest network, etc.


apparently you can see the password in keychain on a Mac, so typing it in yourself might not be as secure as you think.

I think this is a great feature for the typical home network. I'm guessing there will be a way to turn it off if you don't want it.
Rating: 2 Votes

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