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What is SSID in Wi-Fi and How to Find it? (2024)


When it comes to Wi-Fi networks, you may have come across the term “SSID” more often than not. Despite it being incredibly common, not many people know the term and what it has to do with their Wi-Fi network. If you are one such person, and you wish to learn everything there is to know about SSID; then you are at the right place.

Updated 2024: This article has been recently updated to reflect additional changes in information. It now also informs readers of the reasons for needing to know the SSID of a Wi-Fi network.

What is SSID?

SSID stands for Service Set Identifier. It is the name assigned to a Wi-Fi network to identify it among other available networks. Think of SSID as the nameplate that distinguishes one network from another. Whenever you search for available Wi-Fi networks on your device, you will see a list of SSIDs displayed. This naming convention enables you to identify and connect to the specific network you want to join.

What does SSID Stand For?

First and foremost, what does the term “SSID” actually stand for? It stands for “Service Set Identifier.”

Why is the SSID important?

The SSID is important because it helps devices identify and connect to a particular Wi-Fi network. It also helps differentiate between different Wi-Fi networks in the same location. For example, if you live in an apartment building, there may be several Wi-Fi networks available, but each one will have a different SSID, allowing you to choose the network you want to connect to.

What is SSID in Wi-Fi, and How to find your SSID?

If you see a sign telling you to connect to a network with an SSID “Coffee Wi-Fi,” all you need to do is look for that wireless network and connect to it to gain internet access.

The primary purpose of SSIDs is to differentiate between numerous Wi-Fi networks. This way, you can connect to the correct one. SSIDs are used for all kinds of Wi-Fi networks, including and not limited to your Wi-Fi network at home. If you have control of a Wi-Fi network, you can change the SSID to anything you like.

SSIDs can be no more than 32 characters in length, and they are case-sensitive. For instance, “MyNetwork” will be completely different from “mynetwork.”  It is worth noting though special characters like dashes, periods, etc., are allowed.

The SSID you select is broadcasted over your wireless router or any other Wi-Fi base station, making it easier for nearby devices to identify available networks with readable names that humans can understand.

If a network does not have a password, anyone can connect with it by selecting the SSID. But if the network is secured with encryption, then a password will be required to connect to it. To protect your wireless network, do not host an open Wi-Fi network.

That being said, if you want to find your SSID, the process is relatively simple. Access your router’s settings and use your credentials to sign in. Once you are in, you will see your network’s SSID, and here you can change it as well.

What is an SSID Number?

If you have never changed the SSID for your router, the SSID number will be set to default. To find this SSID number, check the body of your router. If you cannot find it on the router itself, then be sure to check the box it came in. It is worth mentioning that the default SSID numbers usually utilize the name of their brands, i.e., Netgear, Linksys, etc.

What is WPA2?

As mentioned earlier, it is a terrible idea to leave your Wi-Fi network without a password. To avoid a breach, you will need to utilize encryption to prevent a disaster later on. One such form of encryption for wireless security is WPA2. It is the standard for wireless security, and it is set as the default security perimeter in most routers. A WPA2 key is an alphanumeric password, and it is required to access your network if enabled.

How to Find SSID in WiFi?

In the router’s administrative interface, the Service Set Identifier – the network name assigned to the router when it is set up – is assigned. If your machine has connected to the network at least once, the SSID is shown in the network setup of your operating system. You may identify your network’s SSID in Windows 7 by inspecting your network connections to see if your computer has already joined your company’s network.

Here’s how to locate the SSID on WiFi:

  • Right-click the “WiFi” icon in the Windows desktop’s notification area, also known as the system tray.
  • At the bottom of the Connections box, click the “Open Network and Sharing Center” button.
  • Locate the network name of the desired connection by viewing your network connections.
  • To access further information about the connection, right-click on the SSID and select “Properties.”

Why do you need to know the SSID of a Wi-Fi network?

Knowing the SSID of a Wi-Fi network is important for several reasons:

Connection Identification

The SSID is essentially the name of the Wi-Fi network. It helps users identify and choose the network they want to connect to from a list of available networks. Without knowing the SSID, it would be difficult to distinguish between multiple Wi-Fi networks in the same area.

Network Configuration and Troubleshooting

For setting up or troubleshooting a Wi-Fi network, a person needs to know its SSID. This is essential for accessing the network’s settings with the help of an internet browser or a dedicated mobile app.

Security Purposes

Knowing the SSID can be important for security settings. For instance, one might want to hide the SSID to make the network less visible to unauthorized users. Or, they might need the SSID to set up a secure connection with a new device.

Guest Access

If someone is setting up a guest network, they will need to know and perhaps customize the SSID so guests can easily identify and connect to the correct network.

Compatibility and Performance Issues

In some cases, identifying the SSID can help diagnose compatibility or performance issues. Some devices might have trouble connecting to networks with certain SSID settings or characters.

Why Do I Need to Change my SSID?

Changing your default SSID can protect you from an Evil Twin attack, in which a hacker builds a bogus access point with the same default SSID as popular routers. Victims of such assaults unintentionally connect to a malicious access point in the area, allowing a threat actor to steal their data.

Some hackers may also utilize your router’s default SSID to discover your device’s manufacturer and model to attack any known vulnerabilities. A threat actor who controls your compromised router might drive you to dangerous websites or snoop on your activities.

Why Should I Change my SSID?

Changing your default SSID can stop you from falling victim to an Evil Twin attack where a hacker creates a fake access point with the same default SSID as popular routers. Victims of such attacks unknowingly connect to a malicious access point in the neighbourhood and lose their personal data to a threat actor.

Some hackers can also use your router’s default SSID to determine the make and model of your device in order to exploit any known vulnerabilities. A threat actor with complete control over your hacked router could direct you to malicious websites or spy on your activity.

Secure your Online Presence with a VPN for your Router

Now that you know what is SSID network, and what does SSID mean, you might want to consider bolstering your online security and privacy even further.

Apart from using a password on your router to protect your wireless network, it would help if you used a VPN to fall off the grid. Of course, you will need a reliable VPN, like Ivacy VPN, to make this happen, but once it is set up, you will never have to worry about your online privacy and security ever again.

What is interesting about Ivacy VPN is that it can be set up on your router. This way, you will not only enjoy impenetrable security but also get true internet freedom like never before!



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is it important to have a unique SSID?

Having a unique SSID helps to identify and connect to the correct wireless network, especially in areas with multiple wireless networks available.

Can I change the SSID on my wireless network?

Yes, most wireless routers allow you to change the default SSID to a unique name of your choice.

Is it safe to broadcast my SSID?

Many experts recommend hiding or not broadcasting your SSID for added security. However, it is important to note that hiding your SSID does not provide complete security, and other methods such as encryption and a strong password should also be used.

How does Ivacy VPN help protect my wireless network?

Ivacy VPN encrypts your internet connection and protects your online identity and personal information from hackers and cybercriminals. It also allows you to access blocked content and websites. Additionally, Ivacy VPN helps protect your wireless network by providing additional security measures such as an automatic kill switch and a strict no-logs policy.

How do I find the SSID of my wireless network?

You can usually find the SSID of your wireless network by accessing the settings on your router or by using a network scanner tool on your device. Some devices will also display available SSIDs when searching for wireless networks in your area.

Can I have multiple SSIDs on one wireless network?

Yes, some wireless routers allow you to set up multiple SSIDs on a single network. This can be useful for separating different types of devices or users on the same network.

Can multiple devices connect to the same SSID?

Yes, multiple devices can connect to the same SSID, as long as they have the correct wireless network credentials such as the password.

Are there any risks associated with using a public SSID?

Using a public SSID can put your device at risk of hacking or man-in-the-middle attacks. Public SSIDs are often unsecured, meaning they don’t require a password to connect. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid connecting to public SSIDs and use a trusted VPN service like Ivacy VPN to keep your device and personal information safe and secure.

How does Ivacy VPN enhance the security of my SSID?

Ivacy VPN encrypts your internet connection, making it impossible for hackers to intercept or access your personal information. Ivacy VPN also blocks malicious websites and keeps you anonymous online. This means that even if someone gets hold of your SSID, they won’t be able to access your personal data as it will be encrypted. Ivacy VPN is the perfect solution to keep your SSID and personal information safe and secure.

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