A Detailed Guide To Understanding SSID





If you have used WI-FI connections then you might know that you get a list of all the wireless networks around you from which you choose. If the network is of open type then anyone can connect and use it whereas, if it is private or password protected then you need to get access. 

You choose and connect to the network to reach out to the data from the internet but how does this work exactly? Do you know how the particular network connects you such that the correct data reaches exactly you? This is where SSID plays a vital role.

Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the unique ID that consists of 32 characters that form your Wi-Fi network’s name. In simple the function of SSID is to send the data to its destination even when more than one network is involved.

The importance of SSID can be understood if we understand its use and its function in detail. In this article, we will know about what is SSID, its function, and its importance.

What is SSID?

Ever wondered how even when there are several Wi-Fi networks involved, the data you ask for reaches exactly your device? This is possible because of the SSID of your WI-Fi that provides a unique identity to your wireless network or wireless LAN (WLAN).

As each one of us has a unique name that distinguishes us in a crowd, similarly SSID is the name of the wireless network!

What does SSID do?

 SSID acts as a ‘check and pass’ mechanism when there are several wireless networks and all of them are capable of transmitting the data to your device. The SSID is like the key that would unlock or identify your device and connect it with the correct wireless network.

This type of correct and unique identification is very important when you are in an environment with several wireless access points (WAPS). To prevent confusion when you can access several wireless access points but want to correctly choose your network connection.

Hence with SSID, you can identify your:

  • Wireless network
  • Wireless network adaptor
  • Wireless Access Points (WAPs)

Read about: 4 Best Wifi Channel Scanners To Always Be On The Fastest Network

Format of SSID

  • It is a ‘text string’ which can be read by us as it is in human-readable form.
  • The SSID is made of the elements as represented above.
  • The SSID field consists of 0 to 32 octets in the length of the field. If the 0 length field is used in the field it represents the ‘wildcard SSID’.
  • It can identify the ESS or IBSS (Independent Basic Service Set).
  • All these elements together ensure that each SSID is different from each other.
  • These 32 characters are case sensitive, that is, SSID ‘HELLO’ is not the same as SSID ‘hello’.

Interactions between the Access point and Terminal 

Let us see what happens between the wireless network and the access point and how SSID works!

  • The sequential working of the connection process through interaction between the AP (Access point) and the Terminal is represented here.
  • After the series of processes only you finally get connected to the Wi-Fi network, and all this happens in a matter of a few seconds!

Now that we have a clear idea about what is SSID, its importance, and its working, let us proceed with how to change the SSID of your wireless network.

Set SSID name and password

Your wireless network router comes with a unique SSID name and default password which can be changed or altered accordingly. For this follow these steps:

  • Connect your mobile or laptop to the wireless router.
  • Open a web browser.
  • Log in to ‘’.
  • Enter the router admin default username and password.
  • Open ‘Wireless Setup’ under the ‘Settings’.
  • Change the username and password accordingly.

Also, check this out to know more: Everything You Need To Know!

Once you have finalized your username and password, the credentials can be saved so that you can connect to the network automatically the next time.

If this procedure couldn’t solve your issue then try contacting the technical support team of your router and follow the steps that they suggest.

SSID Security aspects

The SSID is vital for every secured wireless network but SSID on its own cannot protect the network!

Let us check out some facts about SSID and security:

  1. The SSID can be hidden so that it is not discovered by others but the liability here is that several software can be used by hackers to get the details about your wireless network.
  2. Similarly, the SSID leaves certain data packets as you use the network, sending requests, which can be interpreted by hackers through which they can get control over your connection.
  3. Another common problem that you can face is that you might have The same SSID as your neighbors as people mostly don’t change the default name, so you might get confused and connect to the wrong network.
  4. If you do not have a password-protected WPA2 key network with a common SSID then there are high chances that your network might be connected to the wrong user.

Read and know about: Save Your Privacy: Learn How To Change Your Location In Chrome

Let us take an example of a scenario to understand about SSID clearly:

If there is more than one network with the same SSID which are not protected by a password then your device might automatically connect to:

  • The network with the strongest signal.
  • The network that it notices or discovers first.

So, these confusions must be prevented and the simplest solution for this is to either change your default SSID or make it password protected.

In this article, we have covered every aspect of SSID starting from what is SSID to how to alter it in order to increase the efficiency of using the wireless network in the crowd of networks. Hope it was useful to understand SSID, its vital role as well as the security level it is related to.

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