What is an SSID?

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WiFi networks are getting more and more common. WiFi has applications in interior and outdoor localization, home automation, and physical analytics and provides network connectivity.

SSID is short for Service Set Identifier, which is the name for a WiFi network in layman's terms. SSID is a name for the network that is used to identify a wireless network. But don't get confused. SSID is not the name that we assign to a wireless router though it may be the name shown to users. Instead, SSID is a different 32-Octet string that distinguishes any other nearby network name.

SSID acts as a street address and helps differentiate one WLAN from another, so all access points and devices attempting to connect to a specific WLAN must use the same SSID. Since an SSID can be sniffed in plain text from a packet, a device will not be allowed to join the BSS unless it can supply the unique SSID. This provides no security to the network.

How Secure is an SSID?

For bandwidth, authentication, and security concerns, each network utilizes an SSID, a 32-Octet string, to distinguish one network from another. It's wise to keep an eye on who is sniffing your network. Some say it's a good idea to turn off the SSID broadcasting so that no other client stations may see it, but experts suggest not to do so, as it may make the network more vulnerable to hacking.

The SSID is included in every packet sent over a wireless network, ensuring that data sent over the air reaches its intended destination. Sending and receiving data in a neighborhood with several wireless networks would be chaotic and unpredictable without service set identifiers.

According to WLAN architecture guidelines, the SSID must be appended to the header of packets sent over a wireless local-area network (WLAN). This ensures that data is sent to and received from the correct network.

Because the SSID distinguishes one WLAN from another, all access points and devices seeking to connect to that WLAN must have the same SSID in order for roaming to be effective. In addition, a wireless network interface card (NIC) must have the same SSID as the access point during the connection process, or it will be unable to join the IEEE 802.11 WLAN architecture's basic service set (BSS).

Why Use Multiple SSIDs?

An access point can have many SSIDs assigned to it. Using numerous SSIDs allows users to connect to several networks, each with its own set of policies and functionalities, boosting the network infrastructure's flexibility and efficiency. For instance, a business can have a separate SSID for customers and workers, making the network work more efficiently and securely.

Updated on 26-Aug-2021 13:38:41