SSID question

  brundle 16:38 04 Oct 2006

Lack of knowledge of the importance of SSID leads me to ask; if two `overlapping` local wireless networks share the same SSID, Netgear for example, could that cause one or other system to have problems connecting reliably to its own specific access point/wireless router? Would changing the SSID of one or the other solve the problem? I would have thought the identification was based more on MAC than SSID....

  ade.h 16:44 04 Oct 2006

It is a bad idea to have two networks with identical service set IDs in the vicinity of one another. It would be like having two people called John in the same room and trying to have a conversation with one of them.

  ade.h 16:47 04 Oct 2006

Posted too soon. Re your last comment: the Media Access Control address is unique to each network device, as you may know, but the clients do not identify the host's MAC; only the other way around.

  brundle 16:48 04 Oct 2006

So people who leave the SSID at the manufacturer's default are likely to encounter problems with their neighbours, if they do the same? How does a client connect to an access point if you elect to switch SSID broadcast off?

  brundle 16:52 04 Oct 2006

Re: second post; thank you for clarification - I only ask as I had a troubleshooting task today and among several measures changing the SSID appeared to help stablise the connection, even though I only found another wireless network nearby using the same manufacturer SSID when using NetStumbler.

  ade.h 17:36 04 Oct 2006

WZC needs the SSID broadcast to work properly, so it should not really be turned off. There is no security benefit to it, since the SSID is sent unencrypted in the header of the association packet. But, it must always be changed to something unique and not obviously descriptive. "John's Linksys at number 34" is not a good idea, for example!

  brundle 20:48 10 Oct 2006

Thanks for that.

  Danoh 00:47 11 Oct 2006

Hi ade.h!! :-)
As you might recall, I don't broadcast my SSID and use WZC on 2 machines without any issue.
Have you experienced issues with WZC and non-broadcast SSIDs?

Surely not broadcasting SSIDs avoids casual attempts?
Anyone prepared and capable of sniffing out data packets transmitted wirelessly and so find the SSID, will be prepared to do much more
~ if they are really determined, they'll probably be able to crack any domestic setup, anyway?

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