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Do I need to broadcast my Wireless SSID?

Posted on 2010-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Correct me if I am wrong.  I can disable the broadcasting of my SSID, and that makes my networks safer.  Strangers would not know my network exists.

The downside is that visitors woudl need to be told explicityly in order to use it.  

Is that true?

I have no vistors using my network, and woudl opt to make it not visible.

Please let me know...

Thanks,
newbieweb
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Question by:newbieweb
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7 Comments
 
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Procastin8or earned 84 total points
ID: 33712853
I hid my SSID for awhile, the only problem I remember having is with mobile devices. I had to unhide it to add my iPhone.
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by:newbieweb
ID: 33713013
I have not yet connected my BlackBerry or any mobile device.  What things would that allow me to do?
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by:kenycl
kenycl earned 84 total points
ID: 33713199
disabling your ssid broadcasting will make your wireless network more secured due to people not able to see your ssid and try to logon.

when someone needs to logon they will need to manually type in the ssid and add it.

so your information above is correct
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by:arweeks
arweeks earned 83 total points
ID: 33713204
You're correct.  You can have your SSID hidden which makes you a little more secure.  Most mobile devices should let you manually key in the SSID.  Connecting your BB just means you'll get faster interent from the wifi.  So browsing the net on it is faster as you're running at wi-fi speed, not your mobile network speed.

I use good passwords and good encryption.  I'm happy having my SSID broadcasting, it's easier that way. The ony decent attacks that I know of for WPA are dictionary attacks, so a really good password should be enough.
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by:naykam
naykam earned 83 total points
ID: 33713394
I disagree.

>Unfortunately, merely disabling SSID is not effective as a security measure, and any active wi-fi router can be revealed quite easily.

Your SSID was never originally designed to be hidden, but its merely a option that manufactures have included to basically give you a false sense of security. It can easily be reveled even when set to " do not broadcast". So yes 'at first glace' of your wireless network list, you will not see the network - but this also comes with a lot more steps to configure clients.

So dont get lured into that false sense of security. Always use good,  non dictionary passwords and the highest encryption possible. Also, if feasible, change the key every so often.

To completely contradict myself, I recently setup an enterprise network that was hidden, BUT, all wireless policies were controlled through group policy so this made sense from a management point of view. Because we didn't want people 'playing' with their network profiles and it also kept it 'simple' from a end user point of view.

Some reference documents:

  From Microsoft:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/bb726942.aspx

http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/02/08/non-broadcast-wireless-ssids-why-hidden-wireless-networks-are-a-bad-idea.aspx

  Blog:
http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2008/04/21/wi-fi-mythbuster-do-not-hide-your-ssid/
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by:sarangk_14
sarangk_14 earned 83 total points
ID: 33713988
Hi,

Disabling the SSID broadcast is not an effective measure to stop someone from accessing your wireless network, but it is acceptable as a security measure in addition to others like WPA2, Access Lists, etc.

Issue that may come with mobile devices/ other legitimate machines trying to connect to your wifi network, would not occur if the users know/ have the SSID and corresponding authentication information.

Hope this helps.

Warm regards,
Sarang
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by:vernony
vernony earned 83 total points
ID: 33716809
SSID broadcast is not safe as others can see you wifi network easily. There are many hacker software that can interpret the password. However, we still have ways to prevent strangers stealing your own wifi network. For example, MAC address filters, set a strong authentication method like WPA2-PSK, etc.
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