Turning off your SSID is dumb

by Volker Weber

Good, short white paper explains why turning off your WiFi access point's SSID broadcast is not only bad for security, it's also bad for performance.

Contrary to a common belief that the SSID is a WLAN security feature and its exposure a security risk, the SSID is nothing more than a wireless-space group label. It cannot be successfully hidden. Attempts to hide it will not only fail, but will negatively impact WLAN performance, and may result in additional exposure of the SSID to passive scanning. The performance impact of this misguided effort will be felt in multiple WLAN scenarios, including simple operations like joining a WLAN, and in significantly longer roaming times.

[via WiFi Net News and Boing Boing]


sad but true. due to weak performance and "signal lost" troubleshooting in our mixed (b/g) environment, we turned that feature back on and now it's up and running for a month without a hassle.

martin, 2003-12-11

Just when I was starting to trust Computerworld...
See point 6 here:

chris, 2003-12-12

Great! Thanks for spreading the word. It gets tiresome to see poor recommendations for wifi security. Disabling SSID is useless to all but accidental intrusion (use). WPA encryption (NOT WEP) is the way to go and is usable on legacy adapters and access points (software upgrades may be needed for older models).

Dan Anderson, 2005-10-29

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