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Change the Default SSID on Wireless Access Points and Routers

Improve home network security


Couple at home using laptop
William King/Stone/Getty Images
Wi-Fi access points and routers establish a wireless network using a name called an SSID. Routers are configured with a default SSID pre-defined and set by the manufacturer at the factory.

Typical default SSIDs are simple names like

  • "wireless"
  • "netgear"
  • "linksys"
  • "default"
The SSID can be accessed from within the router's Web-based or Windows-based configuration utilities. It can be changed at any time, but wireless clients must then recognize the new SSID in order to reconnect to that router and wireless network.

To improve the security of your home wireless network, consider changing the router's SSID to a different name than the default. Here are some recommended do's and dont's, based on recommended network security practices:

  • Don't embed your name, address, birth date, or other personal information as part of the SSID
  • Likewise, don't use any of your Windows or Internet Web site passwords
  • Don't tempt would-be intruders by using tantalizing network names like "SEXY-BOX" or "TOP-SECRET"
  • Do pick an SSID that contains both letters and numbers
  • Do choose a name as long or nearly as long as the maximum length allowed
  • Do consider changing your SSID periodically (at least once every few months)

More > Changing the SSID of a Router Step by Step

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