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Chris HoffmanEditor-in-Chief

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He"s written about technology for over a decade & was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The thành phố new york Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations lượt thích Miami"s NBC 6, và had his work covered by news outlets lượt thích the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read more...

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chrisbhoffman
Dec 5, 2017, 6:40 am EST| 4 min read
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You’ll often see the acronym “SSID” when Wi-Fi networks are involved. A Wi-Fi network’s SSID is the technical term for its network name. For example, if you see a sign telling you to lớn join a network with an SSID of “Airport WiFi”, you just need to lớn pull up the menu of wireless networks nearby và join the “Airport WiFi” network.


What Does SSID Stand For?

SSID stands for “Service set Identifier”. Under the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standard, a “service set” refers lớn a a collection of wireless networking devices with the same parameters. So, the SSID is the identifier (name) that tells you which service set (or network) khổng lồ join.

You can dig into the details on Wikipedia, but SSID is really just a technical term for the wireless network’s name.

How SSIDs Work

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RELATED: How to lớn Get a Better Wireless Signal & Reduce Wireless Network Interference

SSIDs are designed lớn be a chất lượng name khổng lồ distinguish between multiple Wi-FI networks in the area so you can connect lớn the correct one.

These are used by all types of Wi-Fi access points, including public Wi-Fi networks and your trang chủ Wi-Fi network. Router manufacturers often provide a mặc định SSID like “Linksys” or “Netgear”, but you can change it khổng lồ anything you like—if you control the Wi-Fi network và have administrative access.


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An SSID can be up khổng lồ 32 characters in length. They’re case-sensitive, so “NetworkName” is a different SSID from “networkname”. Some special characters like spaces, the underscore, periods, & dashes are also allowed.

The wireless router or other Wi-Fi base station broadcasts its SSID, allowing nearby devices lớn display a danh mục of available networks with human-readable names.

If the network is an open network, anyone can connect with just the SSID. However, if the network is secured with WPA2 or another type of encryption, people will need the passphrase before they can connect. We recommend against hosting an xuất hiện Wi-Fi network.

What Happens if There Are Multiple Wi-Fi Networks With the Same SSID?

Once you’ve connected lớn a Wi-Fi network with a certain SSID once, your device will generally try connecting lớn SSIDs with that name in the future.

Things get more complicated if there are multiple Wi-Fi networks with the same SSID. If they’re in the same area—for example, two networks named “Home”—some devices will try khổng lồ automatically connect lớn the network with the strongest signal, while some will try khổng lồ connect lớn the first network they see.


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Of course, if the two Wi-Fi networks named “Home” have different passphrases, your device will only be able khổng lồ successfully connect khổng lồ one of them. So, if you use the same SSID as your neighbor, you’ll likely both run into some connection problems until one of you changes it.

How to Choose & Change Your SSID

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You should choose a unique SSID, especially if you live near a lot of other people—for example, in an apartment building. This will prevent connection problems.

You also shouldn’t expose personal information lượt thích your name or address in an SSID, as anyone nearby can see that information. Remember, you’re broadcasting that SSID khổng lồ everyone in the vicinity.

RELATED: How to lớn Change Your Wi-Fi Network"s Name & Password

To change the SSID on a network you control, you’ll have khổng lồ access your router’s settings, sign in with administrator credentials, và change the SSID or Wi-Fi network name.

This generally involves accessing your router’s web interface và changing the Wi-Fi settings. However, you may be able to vì chưng this via an ứng dụng instead of you use something lượt thích Google Wifi that offers an app.

How to lớn Find Your Wi-Fi Network’s SSID

If you’re not currently connected lớn your trang chủ Wi-Fi network và you’re not sure what the SSID on your router is, you can generally access the router’s configuration page to lớn find it và the passphrase. You can often connect to your router via a wired Ethernet cable if you aren’t on the Wi-Fi network.

RELATED: How to Access Your Router If You Forget the Password

If you can’t connect lớn your router at all, you may find the mặc định SSID printed on the router itself. This will work unless you or someone else with access to lớn the router has changed it. If not even this works, you can generally reset your router by pressing & holding a small “Reset” button to restore its settings khổng lồ the defaults. Consult the manual for your specific model of router for more information. If you don’t have the manual on hand, you can generally find them online with a simple web search.

Should You Hide Your SSID?

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RELATED: Debunking Myths: Is Hiding Your Wireless SSID Really More Secure?

It’s possible khổng lồ create a Wi-Fi network with a “hidden” SSID on many wireless routers. But, even if you hide your SSID, the router still broadcasts traffic wirelessly. Wi-Fi networks with hidden SSIDs may not appear in the danh sách of Wi-Fi networks on a PC or smartphone, but they will be detectable lớn anyone with easy-to-use wireless traffic monitoring software.


Worse yet, creating a hidden network leads to lớn connection problems và actually exposes your Wi-Fi connection details. When you use a hidden network, your device has to constantly broadcast its name and attempt khổng lồ connect to lớn find it.

Wi-Fi was never designed to lớn work this way. Khổng lồ secure your Wi-Fi network, use WPA2 encryption & set a strong password. Don’t create a hidden Wi-Fi network—it’s actually less secure.

Xem thêm: How To Save A Windows Complete Memory Dump File After A Blue Screen Of Death/Unexpected Reboot?

How to lớn Hide an SSID from Appearing On Your Computer

RELATED: How lớn Block Your Neighbor"s Wi-Fi Network From Appearing on Windows

You can’t change the SSID of a network unless it’s your network—that is, you have administrator access khổng lồ the wireless router or other device that hosts them. The SSIDs around you are named by the people và businesses nearby. However, if there’s an offensive Wi-Fi network name you don’t want to see, Windows does provide a way khổng lồ block your neighbor’s SSID from appearing in the network list.

Image Credit: Casezy idea/Shutterstock.com


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Chris HoffmanChris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He"s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The new york Times, been interviewed as a giải pháp công nghệ expert on TV stations lượt thích Miami"s NBC 6, và had his work covered by news outlets lượt thích the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times---and that"s just here at How-To Geek. Read Full Bio »