Do wireless routers need to broadcast SSID?

By Healer ·
I've found most of the time laptops wouldn't connect to routers wirelessly whether it was done manually or automatically unless SSIDs were broadcast.

However I have experience that once the laptops have connected successfully I can have the broadcast turned off and the connection would automatically established as soon as the laptops are turned on.

Now I come across a laptop that won't connect manually or automatically if I don't have the SSID broadcast. This laptop has Atheros AR9285 802.11b/g/n WiFi Adapter.

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as long as you know the SSID should be able to connect

by CG IT In reply to Do wireless routers need ...

if you have the correct WPA key.

Most disable SSID broadcast as a method of security. No broadcast, you don't know it's there.

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That's what I had been doing until

by Healer In reply to as long as you know the S ...

I got a new laptop Windows 7 64-bit the other day. All my the other three laptops, Windows 7 32-bit and XP 32-bit work fine without SSID broadcast. However this new one of mine wouldn't work. I can't even connect it manually. As soon as I turn on the broadcast this laptop of mine would connect automatically.

I had noticed my windows 7 32-bit laptops needed the broadcast turned on the first time for them to connect but it would then subsequently work from then onwards with the broadcast turned off.

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What I found about shutting off the SSID

by darrin_3121 In reply to Do wireless routers need ...

I experimented with this and found that if I connected my devices with the SSID turned on and set them to auto connect that I could then turn the SSID off and they would connect whenever I was in range.

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That's how I had expected it to work.

by Healer In reply to What I found about shutti ...

Unfortunately this first 64-bit Windows 7 of mine does not behave the same as all my other Windows 7 32-bit's.

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why would you bother turning SSID broadcast off?

by .Martin. In reply to Do wireless routers need ...

people say this increases 'security', but it doesn't really. I liken it to playing hide and seek, by holding your hands over your eyes, and saying "I'm not here".

saying that, if someone were to try and break into your network, they would probably start with a program like inSSIDer, which would take less time to find your network, tell them the security settings, and 95% of the time tell them your hidden SSID, than it would to install the program.

I find it is safer to have a strong password (i.e., not password), and a good encryption method (preferably WPA2-AES), rather than relying on inferior security methods like hiding SSID's (and MAC filtering to an extent).

furthermore, even if your SSID is hidden, the SSID is still sent out with every packet, so in fact it is still sending it out in a way.

And answering your original question, sometimes devices can just crack the shlits if you turn of SSID broadcast. it is a bit like Russian roulette, one laptop might not light SSID's being hidden, where as the next laptop that was made in the same batch will be perfectly fine with SSID's being hidden.

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by seanferd In reply to why would you bother turn ...

All you need is a wardriver to come by broadcasting SSIDs (I'm here, I'm here!) and you may find your wireless devices connecting to <i>their</i> WAP.

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You might be right.

by Healer In reply to why would you bother turn ...

Having insisted and persisted in trying to have the SSID turned off the laptop has at last started to work well without SSID broadcast. Only difference this time I tried was I entered the SSID in accordance with the case of the letters I entered at the router. The SSID is capitalized. I do not know if this would have any effect. It sounds ridiculous though. As it should either work or doesn't. Somehow it worked until I turned off the laptop when I entered them all in lower case. And it would never connect automatically before but it will now.

In fact I have all emplemented, apart from turning off the SSID I also encrypted with password and have access control with MAC address. I just do my best.

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