Wireless Security: How to Disable SSID Broadcast

Posted by on May 27, 2011 2 Comments

Note: This post is part of our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network“. The series contains a 10 step guide to securing your home wireless network.

The wireless access point or router typically broadcasts the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature was designed for businesses and mobile hotspots where wireless clients may roam in and out of range. For the home user, this roaming feature is unnecessary, and it increases the likelihood someone will try to log in to your home network. Fortunately, most wireless access points allow the SSID broadcast feature to be disabled by the network administrator. Your SSID name can be manually inputted into your devices to prevent the need for SSID Broadcasts to be enabled.

Although most routers have different methods to change the SSID details, the general steps are as follows. Incase of difficulty, consult your Wireless Router manual or customer support.

1. Find your LAN IP Address
You can identify the LAN IP Address of your machine by going to Start -> Run and execute the command “cmd”. Inside this command prompt you can execute the command “ipconfig /all”

ipconfig /all

2. Access Your Router
Once you have the IP Address for your router, we can use this to access the router and change settings. We need to open the router’s settings page via the browser by visiting http://192.168.0.1/ (Use the IP you found in step 1 ). This will prompt you for a username and password which is usually “admin/admin”, “admin/password” (or the Password set by you in: Wireless Security: How to Change Default Administrator Usernames and Passwords). Sometimes these fields are left blank, but the best way to know is the user manual.

Router Login

3. Disable SSID Broadcast
Once you have logged into the router control panel, you need to look for a section such as “Wireless” or “Security” etc. Depending on the make of your router, you will find the settings for “Wireless SSID Broadcast”. By default these settings are enabled, however by simply selecting “Disable”, you can disable this functionality.

Changing the SSID Settings

4. You’re Done!
Thats it, you’re router will no longer broadcast its SSID to all users and discourage any SSID based attacks and confusion.

Now you need to reconnect all of your wireless devices to the SSID name and when prompted for a password, enter the password set by you in Wireless Security: How to Enable WEP/WPA Encryption.

Now we recommend that you go back to our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network” and implement all the remaining recommendations into your router.

Wireless Security: How to Change the Default SSID

Posted by on May 26, 2011 1 Comment

Note: This post is part of our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network“. The series contains a 10 step guide to securing your home wireless network.

Access points and routers all use a network name called the SSID. Manufacturers normally ship their products with the same SSID set for all routers. For example, the SSID for Netgear devices is normally “NETGEAR”. The Default SSID can be changed from the administrative panel and should be set to something unique.

Although most routers have different methods to change the SSID details, the general steps are as follows. Incase of difficulty, consult your Wireless Router manual or customer support.

1. Find your LAN IP Address
You can identify the LAN IP Address of your machine by going to Start -> Run and execute the command “cmd”. Inside this command prompt you can execute the command “ipconfig /all”

ipconfig /all

2. Access Your Router
Once you have the IP Address for your router, we can use this to access the router and change settings. We need to open the router’s settings page via the browser by visiting http://192.168.0.1/ (Use the IP you found in step 1 ). This will prompt you for a username and password which is usually “admin/admin”, “admin/password” (or the Password set by you in: Wireless Security: How to Change Default Administrator Usernames and Passwords). Sometimes these fields are left blank, but the best way to know is the user manual.

Router Login

3. Set an SSID Of Your Choice
Once you have logged into the router control panel, you need to look for a section such as “Wireless” or “Security” etc. Depending on the make of your router, you will find the settings for wireless network name under one of these sections.

Here you will enter a Network Name or SSID for your router. This should be something unique and identifiable by you, without giving away too many details about your physical location or personal self.

Changing the SSID Settings

4. You’re Done!
Thats it, you’re router now has a unique SSID setup to discourage any SSID based attacks and confusion.

Now you need to reconnect all of your wireless devices to the new SSID name and when prompted for a password, enter the password set by you in Wireless Security: How to Enable WEP/WPA Encryption.

Now we recommend that you go back to our series on “How to Secure Your Home Wireless Network” and implement all the remaining recommendations into your router.