SSID (Service Set Identifier) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Computer Networks Glossary Terms

I. What is SSID (Service Set Identifier)?

SSID, which stands for Service Set Identifier, is a unique identifier attached to a wireless network. It is used to differentiate one wireless network from another in a specific location. When a device connects to a wireless network, it must provide the correct SSID to establish a connection. SSIDs are typically case-sensitive and can consist of up to 32 characters, including letters, numbers, and special characters.

II. How is SSID used in computer networks?

SSID is used in computer networks to help devices identify and connect to specific wireless networks. When a device scans for available networks, it will display a list of SSIDs that are within range. Users can then select the desired SSID and enter the necessary credentials to connect to the network. SSID is also used by access points to broadcast the availability of a wireless network to nearby devices.

III. What are the types of SSIDs?

There are two main types of SSIDs: basic SSIDs and extended SSIDs. Basic SSIDs are the standard identifiers used to connect to a wireless network. Extended SSIDs, on the other hand, are used to create multiple virtual networks within a single physical network. This allows for greater flexibility and control over network access and security settings.

IV. How is SSID different from BSSID?

While SSID is used to identify a wireless network, BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifier) is used to identify individual access points within a network. Each access point has its own unique BSSID, which is derived from its MAC address. BSSID is used by devices to distinguish between different access points with the same SSID, ensuring a stable and reliable connection.

V. How can SSID be hidden or broadcasted?

SSID can be hidden or broadcasted by changing the settings on the wireless router or access point. When SSID broadcasting is enabled, the network name is visible to all devices within range, making it easier for users to connect. However, hiding the SSID can enhance security by making the network invisible to unauthorized users. To connect to a hidden SSID, users must manually enter the network name and password.

VI. What are the security implications of SSID?

SSID plays a crucial role in network security, as it is used to authenticate devices and control access to the network. However, broadcasting the SSID can make the network more vulnerable to unauthorized access and attacks. Hiding the SSID can provide an additional layer of security, but it is not foolproof. To enhance security, it is recommended to use strong encryption protocols, such as WPA2, and regularly update passwords and network settings.