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allink50
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-28-2007

Hide network name

Is it possible to hide the name of the network on all the wireless computers? Seems to me that if the name of the network is a level, although small level of security, you wouldn't want others to be able to view it if possible
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Hide network name

[ Edited ]
You can disable the SSID broadcast. The beacon includes the SSID (wireless network name) unless you turn off the broadcast.

Without SSID broadcast

* someone scanning with normal wireless software will not see the SSID.

* some normal wireless software does still show the existence of the wireless access point (windows zero configuration does not).

* connection to the access point will be slower

* some wireless cards have difficulties connecting/maintaining a connection

* someone who tries to set up a new wireless access point and wants to choose a channel not too crowded may first have to run a network sniffer to find which channels are clogged with non broadcast SSIDs.

* any wireless network scanner will show the existence of the access point

* any network sniffer will immediately know the SSID after it captures the first packet as the SSID is unencrypted in all transmissions.

I generally recommend not to turn off the SSID broadcast. 802.11 was designed with these broadcasts and although connection may still work without broadcasts it mainly has disadvantages and little benefits if any.

From the perspective of security I would say if you have your wireless network well protected with WPA or WPA2 and a strong pre-shared key turning off the SSID broadcast has little benefits.

Anyone who really wants to crack your WPA protected network must be knowledgeable. Most attacks must be sophisticated as simple brute-force attacks just take too long unless you use a weak key. Sophisticated attacks usually involve some capturing and maybe some packet injection. Again, it is enough to capture a single packet to know the SSID. Anyone who really wants to break into your wireless network with a chance to succeed (i.e. when security really matters) will know the SSID immediately.

Turning off the SSID broadcast will avoid some accidental connection attempts because someone clicked on the wrong network. But that's pretty much it. If you are afraid your neighbor may be a little bit curious, well, if he really is you will get a network sniffer. That will immediately allow him to tap into unencrypted networks...

I would not bother turning off the SSID broadcast. For similar reasons I would not bother using the wireless mac address filter. It mostly gives you a hard time but it is no obstacle for an attacker.

Message Edited by gv on 12-16-2007 09:41 PM
allink50
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-28-2007

Re: Hide network name

Appreciate the detailed rsvp and it is somewhat over my head, but is it possible thru the router's web address to hide the wireless network's name on the existing network, and how to do so.
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Hide network name

http://192.168.1.1/ click wireless. The option to turn off the SSID broadcast is right there.
allink50
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-28-2007

Re: Hide network name

I have the SSID set so it does NOT broadcast. What I would like to do is have the name of the network hidden on the computers on the network !!
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: Hide network name

That's impossible. In order for the computer to connect the computer must know the SSID. The SSID is used to connect. You cannot hide it from the computer. If you have configured the SSID on the computer it knows it. If you don't want the computer to connect anymore you have to remove the wireless network from the list of preferred networks.