I'm reading the manual for a Cisco wireless AP and they write:

Most wireless networking devices give you the option of broadcasting the SSID. While this option may be more convenient, it allows anyone to log into your wireless network. This includes hackers. So, don't broadcast the SSID.

Do I not understand how SSIDs work? I thought it was pretty trival to catch SSIDs (through Kismet or Airsnort), and I'm not sure how broadcasting an SSID for a wireless AP allows access if WPA2 is enabled properly.


Anyone who is trying to access your network illicitly can find it regardless of whether you hide the SSID or not. Your network will ALWAYS broadcast its presence, no matter which setting you choose.

Conversely, if you hide the SSID, your users will be confused ("I can't find the network!") whenever they try to connect for the first time.

Save yourself a few headaches and broadcast the SSID.

  • +1: The benefits of broadcasting the SSID severly outweigh all the hardships. – surfasb Jan 20 '12 at 5:15

It is simple to get the SSID but it may stop the casual user who sees the SSID and then tries to get connected. As you say, strong security will help much more than not broadcasting SSID.

  • Or to put it another way, it is trivial to break a window in a house, but it is still good security to lock them. – EBGreen Jan 19 '12 at 20:15
  • 2
    @EBGreen: Your analogy would only work if it was suggested that hiding the SSID is a worthwhile idea. – paradroid Jan 20 '12 at 2:20

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