Change Default SSID

Open Router Administration Console

In order for a wireless device to connect to a wireless network it must know the network name, or SSID (service set identifier), of the wireless network in question. If you plug your wireless router or access point in and leave the default SSID, it won't take long for an attacker to determine what the SSID is.

To change the default SSID to something unique, you need to access your wireless router administration console. Refer to the owner's manual for your particular wireless router or access point to determine how to access the configuration and administration screen where you can change the default SSID.

For most wireless routers, this is done via a Web browser. Simply type (Note: the default IP address may vary by vendor, or if you have changed the default IP address, substitute whatever the IP address for your wireless router is).

To gain access to the actual administration console, you will need to enter the administrative username and password for your wireless router. Some vendors allow you to change both the username and the password, while some only allow you to change the password. You definitely should not be using the default username and password since any attacker can find out what that information is from the vendor.

Enter your username and password and press Enter or click OK.

Go To Wireless Settings

Once you are in the administration console for your wireless router, navigate to the wireless settings so you can view and modify the SSID.

The actual steps may vary by vendor, so refer to your wireless router documentation for detailed steps. The example here is based on a Linksys WRT300N Wireless-N router.

  • Click on Wireless on the top menu bar
  • Click on Basic Wireless Settings on the sub-menu

Here you can see the Network Name, or SSID.

Change Default SSID

Enter a new SSID into the Network Name (SSID) field.

When changing your SSID, make sure you change it to something unique. If you use information such as your own first or last name or your address or birthdate, an attacker may be able to successfully guess what your SSID is. Also follow these tips:

  • make the SSID as many characters long as possible
  • don't name it anything simple like "wireless" or your name
  • try to use a combination of both letters and numbers

After you have entered a new, unique SSID, be sure to click on Save Settings in order to ensure the settings are applied.