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Should I use the default wireless network SSID in my wireless router?
Requested and Answered by Gene Amtower [pcbgene] on 20-Apr-2010 14:10 (3322 reads)
While it is OK to use the default SSID in a wireless router when setting up a wireless network, it can cause problems. Here's why you should change the default SSID to something different...

When you connect to a wireless network from a PC, the connection wizard will ask if you want to automatically connect to this network in the future. If you answer "Yes", the SSID and encryption key are both stored together in the wireless networking properties to enable future connections to the same network. While you will connect successfully to a network that uses the default SSID, if you later connect to a different wireless network that uses the same SSID but a different encryption key, the saved encryption settings will be replaced with the new settings. Later, when you are in range of the original wireless network, it will not automatically connect to that network because the stored key has been changed.

To avoid this issue, using a unique SSID for each wireless network will ensure that any saved encryption settings will remain correct and allow automatic connection to occur. I like to use a unique SSID value that clearly identifies the wireless network. As an example, if I setup a new wireless network in the home of a client named Tom Smith, I use something like TomSmithHome as his SSID value. This way, he is guaranteed not to encounter the same SSID when he uses his laptop wirelessly at other locations, and his encryption key will remain correct and allow automatic wireless connections whenever he returns home. A second advantage of this approach is that Tom can then clearly identify his wireless network from that of any close neighbors that also have a wireless network.

In fact, having another wireless network nearby that uses the same SSID value as your network makes this even more critical, with more wireless networks in homes now than ever before.

PC Backup provides network configuration support for our customers in the Dayton, OH area. If you need help with a wireless network or anything PC-related, please let us know by submitting an inquiry on the Contact Us form on this site or by calling us at (937) 478-7624

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