Should you turn off Broadcast SSID?

Poll closed Sep 4, 2005.
  1. It helps!

  2. Doesn't make a difference.

  3. Why bother?

    0 vote(s)
By eternalC
Aug 5, 2005
  1. Just about everything I've read says that part of wireless security is to turn off your SSID. Does this prevent hackers no. But to the typical lUser, they will never know the network is there to use. I recently had someone point out to me that:
    "the SSID is like a homing beacon or the carrier signal that is used by your wireless network card to maintain a connection. This is especially helpful if you have several APs in the area, it helps your network card to maintain a connection to the correct Access Point."
    To my understanding, the ssid is just and identifier of which networks you can join or are a part of. Does anyone else have any info on this?
  2. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Turning it off makes you less of a target, than if you broadcast that there is a network there... This is especially true if there are several other AP's in the area...

    Turning off the (broadcasting of the) SSID shouldn't affect your performance, as your card will know which channel to use, and what SSID the AP has...
    So I personally always turn off the broadcasting...
  3. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Yes, just turn it off. To anyone with decent knowledge or the right software wanting to break in to a network, it doesn't really help, but as with anything it is better safe than sorry. It's just another one of those tiny details that brings added security, in a very small way, but it's STILL added security. It's also no hassle to you to do so, so theres no reason not to.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    it 'feels' like a nuisance to manually enter the SSID when you're accustom to
    just clicking on the name and responding 'connect'.

    For SSIDs that you use frequently however, you only need to do the manual
    config ONCE and it's available the next time straight away.

    For a nerd setting at cirb side, it's a much BIGGER nuisance and it takes
    more tools and know-how to make a connection to a network which does not broadcast its SSID.

    BTW: you should also enable MAC filtering. This then allows you to predict the
    IP addresses of your devices AND to setup your firewall to
    EXCLUDE IP addresses not known to you. you have 3 wireless devices or systems and you map the
    ...MAC->IP addresses as --
    The firewall can then permit access for this range and deny everthing
    else. If the hacker makes a connection, he/she only gets the ISP connection
    and no access to your systems.
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