Hidden SSID in combination with mac filter

Hi there,

First post, so please be gentle with me.

I have 2 TP-Link WDR4900. One with 18.06.1 and the other with 18.06.2. Both have the same issue with my Huawei P10 Lite.

Connecting with Wifi works on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz as long as I do not use hidden SSID and mac filtering together. Off course I have added the mac of my phone to the mac filter. If I combine those two then the phone is not able to find my AP. The message I see on the phone says that he cannot find the wifi network with the given name.
Removing the mac filter or make the SSID visible and the phone can connect again.

Other devices do not seem to have this issue and connect to my Wifi network without an issue.

First conclusion is that it is my phone that causes this but with the original WDR4900 firmware from TP-Link there is no such issue. On an older WRT54G the same phone also doesn't have this issue.
The Phone is up-to-date, so far Android on a phone can be up-to-date.
So what is it? The phone or OpenWrt or WDR4900?

Does anyone have a clue or push me in the right direction!?

I have read other topics about hiding SSID and a mac filter not being secure but that is not the point. It is 2019 and why shouldn't this work? Both features exist a long time and are supported by OpenWrt so if they add no security whatsoever, remove them from OpenWrt. If features are put in, people are going to want to use them.

Many thank in advance.


Yes, disable MAC filtering. Both tools are contradictory to WiFi spec anyways - and provide no additional security. This is likely why they don't work in 2019.

Wow, you're the first person in this community that I've seen propose that - given your understanding of it.

  • Also, search the threads, I wouldn't call it "supported by OpenWrt" ...it likely was a feature that made its way from the original Linksys open source code.

In this thread, the filter caused an issue: How to deal with a printer DoSing my WiFi? [Solved]

Thanks for your reply.

I would not like to start another discussion about why these features should not be used. That part is clear. It was clear to me before I opened my topic. What I would like to know is why it doesn't work.

Saying, don't use these features because ..... and ..... is good to know but how many features are there in OpenWrt that shouldn't be used because of ......?
E.g. WEP "encryption"?
It is there so people want to use. If it doesn't work, they may or may not try to figure out why it isn't working before starting a topic about it. Hearing that they shouldn't use it is good but doesn't solve the issue. Keeping those features in will continue to raise questions when they are used and do not work as expected.

The features are there so people want to use them. If it doesn't make sense why are they there? Better is to remove them, that saves a few lines of code to maintain that don't work properly and less discussion about these features.

Some features like "Enable key reinstallation (KRACK) countermeasures" have a warning message that explains a bit what could happen when it is used.
There are no such messages for mac filter or hidden SSID so this implies that they should work together.

Let me be clear. I have nothing against OpenWrt, on the contrary I love it.