iOS 11 provides a nifty new feature for sharing your Wi-Fi hotspot password with nearby devices, without having to type the password on another device. When a nearby device running iOS 11 attempts to connect to your password-protected Wi-Fi network through Settings → Wi-Fi, a new message informs the owner they can now request access to the network.

To request Wi-Fi network access, they simply hold their device near an unlocked iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac that’s already connected to the network. A Wi-Fi sharing card pops up on the device already on the network, resembling the seamless AirPods pairing interface.

As first discovered by 9to5Mac, the device that has the network password automatically sends it to the nearby device over the air, allowing the receiving device to quickly and securely connect to your local wireless network.

This feature uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth proximity information.

The beauty of this method, as I mentioned earlier, is that it just works—the device requesting access to your Wi-Fi network never sees the actual network password.

macOS High Sierra will support this time-saving feature as well.

Speaking of which, iOS 11 includes automated first-time setup and account login features.

For instance, a feature called Automatic Setup lets you securely import most of the settings and data to your new iPhone or iPad by holding it near an iOS device or Mac you already own, using a process that’s very similar to that of pairing an Apple Watch to a nearby iPhone.

iOS 11 is compatible with all 64-bit iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The software update will release as a free download to all customers this fall.

  • Agneev

    So if I grant access to someone, can they give further people access?

    • I believe so. But then again, nothing would stop my friends from telling someone what my password is now either.

      While this could mitigate some niche security concerns, this is more about making it easy for you to share your WiFi password than it is about preventing people from gaining access.

      Long story short, if you don’t trust your friend with your wifi, don’t accept his request to join your network or tell him what your password is.

  • MagicHack

    iOS 11 does support the qr code way via the camera app. But this methode is safer because the password is not shared in clear text like with the qr code.

    • Rowan09

      I don’t mind this way at all. I agree

  • So rather than securely and instantly allow someone to connect to your WiFi you’d rather tell them to go find the router (or wherever you’ve posted your QR code), open their QR scanner (and oh the irony if they need the internet to download one quick), take a picture, retrieve your password in plain text, copy the password, open the settings app, paste the password and hit connect.

    Yeah, Apple was sure stupid to allow a user to request to join your WiFi and you to tap allow on your phone… Oh the horrors of simplicity, security and not posting your password up for anyone to grab.

    • Jay

      Love that sarcasm.

    • David

      if you’re posting your only SSID password then yes do it this way. Personally I’d rather post a guest network (which can’t access my lan) for my guests in an operating system agnostic way. QR codes with the guest network definition will work on other OSs – just not apple.