I was testing a system based on some devices connected to a WiFi network. There are 3 devices that make part of the system: A raspberry Pi, an ESP32 and a laptop PC. The raspi acts as a Apache server and the ESP32s send requests for it. I use the laptop PC on the same network in order to see the data via a webpage.

During the test I could not connect to the network using my laptop, neither the raspberry Pi, but the ESP32s connected via DHCP ok.

Since I have little to no knowledge about WiFi networks (I work solely as a firmware developer for the system), I got really curious about the fact.

The manager of the operation told me I would be able to use a tablet to connect to the network.

Why is that?

Is there any kind of WiFi network that only allows mobile devices to connect? I did not try with my phone (shame on me =/)

  • 3
    We are probably lacking a lot of information here. The Wi-Fi network could be restricted to specific MAC addresses. Or if might require authentication specific to each device. Just ask the person operating that WiFi network, they should be able to tell you exactly how they decide what devices can or cannot connect.
    – jcaron
    Nov 8, 2019 at 22:43
  • 5
    Lots of missing information here. When you say "could not connect" - where were the laptop and RasPi failing? Did they not see the SSID? Wrong password? No IP assigned? Different IP assigned? Are you connecting to 5GHz or 2.4GHz? Is the signal source good? Is there other radio interference on the frequency of the channels you are using?
    – John S
    Nov 9, 2019 at 7:27
  • 1
    @JohnS, SSID is found, correct password, 2.4GHz, signal good, channel 1. After some research, I think the network is blocking devices based on vendor specific DHCP parameters. Nov 11, 2019 at 15:02
  • 1
    @jcaron I do not think it is blocking by MAC. I changed my ESP32 mac address during the tests and no problem connecting when I change the first 3 pairs of the MACs. Nov 11, 2019 at 15:04


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