Wireless routers come pre-configured with a SSID from the manufacturer. This is typically an easy-to-guess name such as “default”, “linksys”, “netgear” or “wireless”. The first layer of security for your home network includes changing your SSID from the manufacturer default name and hiding it from public view. While this step alone is not sufficient to deter experienced hackers, it will keep novice poachers away. If you need help determining which SSID is associated with your network, please read this article first.
Change Your SSID
When considering a new SSID for your network, be careful to select a name that is hard for outsiders to guess. Don’t use your name, address, birthday or other personally identifiable information. Your SSID should contain both numbers and letters (case sensitive) and should be as long as the maximum length allowed (32 alphanumeric characters). You can find specific instructions for changing the SSID on your wireless router in the User Guide or on the manufacturer’s website. You may also follow the general instructions below to change your SSID:
- Open a web browser
- In the address bar, enter http://192/168/0/1
- Enter your login and password. If you have not made any modifications to your router, the login is likely “admin” and the password is likely “password”. (Instructions for creating a more secure login and password are provided in the next Security Layer)
- Once you have logged into the router, navigate to the wireless settings page, section or tab
- In the SSID field, enter the new SSID you have chosen for your wireless network
- Save your settings
Hide Your SSID
Once you have given your network a new SSID, proceed to hiding it from public view. The steps required to hide your SSID vary by equipment manufacturer and you will find the most accurate information by consulting the User Guide for your equipment. You can also find detailed instructions online for popular brands such as Linksys/Cisco, Netgear, D-Link and Belkin.