The wireless broadband router (and wireless access point) establishes a wireless network using a Service Set Identifier (SSID) name. These devices are configured with a predefined default SSID (network name) by the factory manufacturer.
Typical default SSIDs are like:
How to Find the SSID of a Wireless Router |
A router’s SSID can be accessed from the administrator’s configuration pages.
For example, these steps show the network name of the Linksys WRT54GS router:
- Point the Web browser to http://192.168.1.1 (or the router’s different address if the default is changed)
- Click the Wireless menu option.
- View the name as shown in the “Wireless Network Name (SSID)” field.
Decide whether to change your SSID
An SSID can be changed at any time through the router configuration screens. After a wireless network is established, changing it causes all wireless devices to disconnect and reconnect to the system with a new name. Otherwise, choosing a name does not affect the Wi-Fi network’s performance.
If two networks with the same name are installed close to each other, the client and client device may be mistaken and try to join incorrectly. If both systems are open (not using WPA or other security features), customers can quietly leave the correct network and connect. Even with the assurance of Wi-Fi in place, users will find duplicate names annoying.
Experts can argue whether using the factory default SSID poses a security risk to the home network. On the one hand, this name has nothing to do with the attacker’s ability to find and break into the system. On the other hand, if there are multiple networks in the vicinity to choose from, the attacker may target names with default names on the possibility that these households are less interested in setting up their home network. They are better than others.
Choose an excellent wireless network name
To improve your home wireless network’s security and/or usability, consider changing the router’s SSID to something different from the default. Follow these guidelines based on recommended security practices:
- Do not include your name, address, date of birth, or other personal information as part of your SSID
- Likewise, don’t use passwords for your Windows or Internet Web site.
- Don’t tempt intruders by using obscene internet names.
- Choose an SSID that contains both letters and numbers.
- Choose a name that is as long or as long as the maximum length allowed.
- Should you consider changing your SSID periodically (at least once a month)?