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090226
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎02-26-2009

duplicate networks?

Hello,

 

We have a LAN set up on a Linksys WRT110 router. The LAN is normally used by 6-8 people. Right now, the network is set to WPA2-Personal security and its SSID isn't being broadcast (at least, that's what it says in the router settings).

 

However, one user noticed that, when he views available wireless networks on either of his machines (he has a Vista PC and a Mac Book), he sees

 

[network] (= the name of our LAN)

[network] 2

 

In other words, it looks as though our router is broadcasting two "duplicate" networks.

 

This isn't exactly what I see on my computer, but, when I open Network and Sharing Center (I'm also running Vista), it claims that I'm connected to "[network] 2", even though, everywhere else in my personal settings, my connection is referred to as "[network]".

 

Can you think of why this might be happening?

 

Thanks

Expert
sabretooth
Posts: 5,331
Registered: ‎11-11-2008

Re: duplicate networks?

[ Edited ]

Could be your neighbors router.  However you should always have the SSID set to broadcast (enabled) so you know which network is yours.  Disabled does nothing for security if thats what you're thinking.  Turn it back on, leave it on and check.

Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: duplicate networks?

The router does not broadcast two SSIDs. You have configured the SSID twice on your computer. Now the computer sees the SSID and two matching entries in the list of known wireless networks. But both only connect to the same SSID.

It should appear in the list of configured wireless networks on the computer. Remove the duplicate network and it should only show one. You can also rename the network name (not the SSID) in the list. You see the network name and the associated SSID in the properties window of the wireless network.

Disabling the SSID broadcast makes it difficult for the computer to detect the network and you may easily add another instance if you are trying to reconnect. I highly recommend to enable the SSID broadcast. It makes the wireless connections more reliable. It save power on your mobile devices. It doesn't make you network less secure.
090226
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎02-26-2009

Re: duplicate networks?

I'm sure that I and other users of this LAN have configured the network more than once. However, when I go to the "Manage Wireless Networks" screen on Vista (where the list of previously-accessed networks is stored), there are no duplicates. I'll have to ask the other users if they see the same thing on their machines.

 

Also, there are probably threads about this already, but why doesn't turning off the SSID broadcast make a difference?

The reason our LAN is set up this way is because of the suggestion of a former roommate, who was an IT professional. Was it a common belief a few years back that not broadcasting the SSID increased security?

Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: duplicate networks?

Check the properties of the wireless connection. It shows the name and the SSID for the connection.

It may also be two different network locations assigned to the network. I am not sure where you can access the list of network locations in Vista. Check Windows help for "network location".

The SSID broadcast does not increase security. To associate with the access point the client must try a connect to the SSID. During association the SSID is transferred unencrypted. It's very easy to force reassociation of a client. Thus it's basically possible to find the SSID within a few seconds. (and at the same time you have learned the white listed MAC addresses in the wireless MAC filter...)

It doesn't hide your access point. An access point always sends out a beacon signal, whether it includes the SSID or not. That means anyone can immediately detect the presence of your access point.

Of course, it needs the right tools to do this but they are readily available in the internet.

In addition, a disabled SSID broadcast drains the batteries of your mobile devices. Any device which wants to connect to the SSID must actively seek a connection, i.e. it must try to connect to the SSID to find out whether or not it's available or not. This means your mobile device constantly tries to connect to the SSID wherever you go until it got a connection. This requires active sending thus much more power then simply listening to the airwaves for the beacon containing the SSID you want.

And of course, your mobile device on the way keeps bloating out the SSID wherever your go.

Use real security with WPA2/AES and a strong passphrase. That will secure your network. That's secure. Anyone trying to hack into your WPA2/AES network won't have any trouble with the SSID broadcast or MAC filter list. Anyone who would have a problem with the SSID broadcast or MAC filter will definitively not be able to crack your passphrase unless it's easy to guess...
skcaldwell
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-01-2011

Re: duplicate networks?

THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS QUESTION.

 

I'm having the same issue and have been for several months. It is true what you have stated.  Even at my  home (now an old network no longer used) that my access point via desktop doesnt show 2 networks.  My mobile pc's do!  

  • 1 secured (bcse we reinstalled and locked it WPA2)
  • 1 the old install that just "fell off the wagon" unsecured sometime last year.

HOW DO YOU DELETE THE ROUTER IF YOU CAN'T SEE IT?

I have to wonder that just ignoring that old one, and securing my new reinstall, is leaving a weak signal for people to use.  The kids in my neighborhood sit at the bball courts and use their pc's.  When I unplug mine, they leave w/n 10min.

 

My neighbor tells me today that comcast calls her they see an unsecure linksys (which is my old one).  Oddly enough, they are receiving reports that hers (secured network) had been hacked to go to Univ. Studios to dwnload full length movies. SMNT! I cant delete the router from the (once main desktop) PC bcse I dont see it in the list. 

Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: duplicate networks?

1. Check what you really have: wire a computer to your router, open the web interface and find out the current wireless and wireless security settings.

2. As I wrote before, you have the list of networks in windows and you have network locations. You have to check both lists. I am not sure when windows does enter something where but I think generally it's the network locations that tend to multiple...
richard804
Posts: 1,272
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: duplicate networks?

Most likely your computer has a dual band wireless adaptor.  My E3000 running dual bands using rol as the SSID appears as rol and rol 2 on my laptop and television using dual band wireless adaptor.

Greetings from Northern Ontario, Canada
bohochic323
Posts: 428
Registered: ‎10-31-2011

Re: duplicate networks?

couldn't be possible as WRT110 is a singleband router

"Don't fix it if it ain't broken."