Saturday, August 16, 2008

How to Find My SSID

So you are sitting at home, and you wonder hey, what is my SSID name? If you have a wireless access point, it has a name, and you have the option to either broadcast that name so others can see you, or not to broadcast your SSID and you can be stealth like. If you have a laptop and your have used wireless before, you know you can view networks to connect to in the Windows Operating System. The networks that show up in that window are ones that have chosen to be broadcast. There are ways to find SSID’s that aren’t broadcast (Kismet), but this article is about how you can find it.

If you purchased a wireless router and you just took it out of the box and then you plugged it in, you probably have an SSID that is the default name the company that made the AP decided to put in all their routers. For example, you can find many wireless access points with the SSID name of ‘Linksys’. Along with this, they have a default userid and password assigned to it. For security purposes, you really need to change all these names. Here is a little ‘how to’ on the administration of routers in general.

First of all, if you are guilty of just plugging in the router and not changing any of these settings, then here is what you can do. You can actually log into your router by using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Look up in your documentation that came with your router to know the IP address that it uses. For example, Linksys routers use 192.168.1.1 for their internal IP address. Other routers sometimes use 192.168.0.1. So in MSIE, you would enter the address ‘http://192.168.1.1′. What you should be presented by is something like login screen that has a user name and password. Here is where you either look this information up in the router documentation or Google the type of router you have for this information. Also, you can reference a site I always have handy that tells you the default router userid’s and passwords (http://routerpasswords.com). This is another reason why you want to change these. Everyone has access to these if they know where to look. Some vendors don’t allow you to change the userid, but you can change the password.

Once you have logged in, you can change these values for security purposes. If you are logging into a wireless AP, here is where you can decide to either broadcast your SSID or not. Also you can change the name also. I advise all people to change the name of the SSID and also not to broadcast it. Change the password to a strong password to help protect yourself from someone doing cyber eavesdropping on you and your private information.

Learn to protect your information. It takes just a bit of work but it is worth it.

2 comments:

Stjepan said...

I read your post and i have one question,is it possible to someone find out my model and serial number of router when i change the ssid which is a speedtouchxxxxxx and set a wep key. I change ssid to a name and numbers and wondering can some kid see my model and serial num...

Brice Smith said...

As long as you change the default SSID name, the answer to your question is no. Most manufacturer's default name has the vendor name, for example "Linksys". This is one of the reasons you want to change that. Also, I would advise you not to broadcast your SSID, which is in the setup of your router. And lastly, if you are concerned about some kid seeing your wireless AP, you should secure it with WPA2, not WEP. WEP was cracked years ago and can be done fast by someone with the right tools.