Wireless SSID broadcast

Wireless SSID broadcast

Why Disable a Router’s SSID Broadcast?

The SSID broadcast setting determines if your router actively broadcasts its name. After initial configuration of the wireless network, this setting should be disabled. (For even better security please make sure you’ve already changed the router’s name from the default factory setting of linksys to a different name).

If the SSID Broadcast setting is enabled, then computers looking for a wireless network in the range of your router will be able to see your router and the name or ID of your router, and thus know that a wireless router is available. If the SSID Broadcast is disabled, however, computers in range may be able to know that there is a wireless router in range, but they will NOT know the name of the wireless network. If the name of the network is not known, it may be more difficult to gain access to the network, and the prospective hacker will hopefully look for an easier target. Remember, multiple levels of wireless security should used with the goal that combining many methods of security will maintain the safety of your network, and disabling the SSID broadcast is one of these levels.

Note that this SSID setting is NOT the same as setting a password for access to your network, and the SSID setting does NOT provide encryption for your data; password configuration is a separate setting.

For easy initial configuration when configuring a wireless network, I generally leave the SSID Broadcast setb to on when connecting the wireless computer(s) to the network. Once the computers are all connected, then I go back into the router’s settings and disable the SSID Broadcast setting. The computers that already know the name of the router (e.g. the ones you configured prior to turning off the SSID), will still know the name of the router and be able to access the connection. If you decide later on to add a computer to the wireless network, you can go back and re-enable the SSID and configure the machine, then again disable the SSID. An easier approach is to just leave the SSID off and use the name of the router (which you know) to configure the new wireless computer.

To Disable the SSID Broadcast:

1. Login to your router. If you haven’t changed the default password and SSID it is recommended you do so in order to maximize the security of your network. Please see this tutorial for instructions how to change the default password and this tutorial for instructions how to change the default SSID of linksys.

2. Navigate to the Wireless tab and make sure you are in the Basic Wireless Settings Area (in the second-level menu).

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