SSID stands for Service Set IDentifier and is your network’s name. If you open the list of Wi-Fi networks on your laptop or phone, you’ll see a list of SSIDs. Wireless router or access points broadcast SSIDs so nearby devices can find and display any available networks. Learn how they work and how to find yours below.
May 28, 2020 · 3 min read
SSIDs can be up to 32 characters in length, but there are no restrictions for minimum size.
Typically, manufacturers create default SSIDs by combining a company's name with random numbers or letters. Depending on your router brand, the default SSID could look something like this: TP-Link_015040, netgear37, Linksys00042, etc.
Changing your SSID and password from the default is usually a good idea. Similar default SSIDs can cause confusion. If you set a custom SSID, you can name your home “The Bat Cave”, “Unbreakable Fortress”, or however you like. Don’t expose your personal details in the SSID, such as your home address or full name.
Many routers have a sticker on the bottom or side with the default SSID. That won’t help if it’s been changed, however. Here’s how to find SSID on different operating systems (just don’t forget to turn on your Wi-Fi):
If you want to connect to your own Wi-Fi but don’t know your SSID, the best option is to connect your router to the computer via ethernet cable and log into its web interface. We do not advise trying to guess — that’s the perfect way to fall for an evil twin attack.
You can also change the settings on your router and turn off your SSID broadcast so it can’t be seen publicly. However, it isn’t a significant cybersecurity measure. While nobody will be able to see your SSID if you hide it, the traffic from your network can still be tracked with the right tools. It won’t hide your IP either.
To connect a new device to your Wi-Fi after hiding the SSID, you’ll have to configure your wireless settings manually.
We recommend changing your Wi-Fi password regularly as you can’t be sure if somebody is not sucking up your data. Always use a strong password and keep the router’s firmware up to date.
You can also set up a VPN on your router to add extra security to your browsing — especially if you occasionally use public Wi-Fi.
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