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How to disable SSID broadcasting safely?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by wdc1, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member


    i have a WRT54G v5 firmware 1.0.9 and I'd like to disable the SSID broadcasting but I haven't done yet because i've read that this can lead to wireless connection drops, also i've read that these drops can be avoid using some software from the wireless manufacturer and not the WZC (wireless zero configuration software provided by windows). is this true?

    my specs are: win xp pro sp2, notebook hp with wireless device of unknown brand (not yet) ADSL conecction (modem ethernet), and the router.

    I know the SSID non broadcasting isn't a very safe setting but i like it just for "peace of mind".

    last and less important: every time i change the router ip from to something else the settings aren't saved and i have to reset the router, any ideas why?

    thaks a lot in advance.


  2. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member

    nobody knows?

  3. jgutz20

    jgutz20 Network Guru Member

    its not the disable ssid that makes you secure or insecure, with the ssid not brodcasting people can still find the network using tools like netstumbler. What sort of encryption are you using on the router?
  4. swinn

    swinn Network Guru Member

    Why not just disable SSID and see if you start getting dropped connections? If so, enable it again. I use WZC with disabled SSID and it works fine as long as I have the connection already setup in Windows.

    If disabled, Netstumbler and other active sniffers won't see the network unless it already knows your SSID. Passive utilities such as airsnort can see the network regardless.
  5. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member

    thanks for the replies fellows!

    jgutz20: i know there are software you can use and still find the SSID but in my neighborhood people aren't smart enough to use those tools, although, I know that, if people don't see any SSID they won't be curious and start sniffing, see?.

    i'm using wap with aes, i'm not sure if xp pro with sp2 can handle wap2 or if my laptop wireless device can handle wap2 but i would sleep better knowing that my SSID is not being broadcasted.

    also i'm using mac filtering and dhcp disabled but i can't change the router's ip as i told earlier in this thread.

    swinn: actually i don't know how to achieve that. everytime I disable broadcasting it seems my laptop can't connect to my router, i have to go here and there in the WZC setup to get connected i was hoping there was some utiliy that could make easier to connect the laptop without WZC. what should i do?


  6. swinn

    swinn Network Guru Member

    Well you can try to find out what kind of wireless card you have and download the utility to manage it from the manufacturer. If your HP is a Centrino then you'll have the Intel card which you can download the latest driver and their management utility from intel.com. You'll just have to find out what model card it is which should be shown in Network Connections or your Device Manager.
  7. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    Don't presume your neighours aren't smart - it is the software that's more sophisticated - not very smart to assume they haven't one installed since even some standard client software bundled with wireless adapters can *unmask* hideen SSID these days. On its own SSID broadcast is not a security feature and should not be regarded as such.

    There is WPA2 (not WAP2 as you put it) support in Windows XP: Windows XP WPA2 Update. WAP is catered to mobile phone access.
  8. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member

    thank you.

    well, my laptop isn't centrino so i'll have to find out which wireless adapter it's being used.

    about smart or not smart :), wireless connection where i live are rare and the people barely uses laptops or routers, even broadband isn't very popular.

    i'll try to install that upgrade and use wpa2 with aes, my password is 25 char long so i can sleep with peace of mind, but i still would like to hide my SSID and i'll try it until i get that.
    my laptop is this one BTW: HP Pavilion dv1315LA notebook PC

    thank you. i'll keep you posted.

  9. HennieM

    HennieM Network Guru Member

    Swinn, I beg to differ on Netstumbler - it can indeed find networks with SSID broadcasting disabled in my experience - it just shows those nets with a blank SSID, not so?

    wdc1, WPA-PSK with AES encryption (and a proper passphrase) is pretty secure. This provides 90% of your protection, the 10% added by hiding the SSID is not worth much IMHO. (Your network of course.....)

    If you go to your wireless card's Properties in Windows, under "Wireless Networks", and set up your net-with-disabled-SSID manually, you should not have trouble connecting. I found that Windoze's "ability to remember" is enhanced by first deleting any existing reference to your wireless net, and then setting it up manually.
  10. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member

    how do I set up the net manually? that's what i'm missing.


  11. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

  12. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member

    thanks for the answer and the links, the second one i have read it a lot of times and that's why i'd like to avoid use of WZC and stick with some 3rd party software provided by my laptop manufacturer (but i have to provide HP with my serial wich i don't have acess to right now).

    the first link describe a procedure that i've done already too but still it's hard to connect to ther router, maybe i'm doing it wrong, this saturday i'll chaecki it out.

    thanks a lot to all of you.

  13. wdc1

    wdc1 LI Guru Member

    i just followed the link and done what it said and nothing, i still can't connect. i'll give up, let the freaking wzc and ssid on and rest in peace thinking how strong is wap + aes.



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