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Disabling SSID

Not applicable

Disabling SSID

I am sure that there is a simple answer to this but have tried on my own and can't solve it as I find wireless connections a bit puzzling.
On my last computer I had SSID disabled, following advice that I had read - this caused no problems and the computer connected OK.
On my current computer (Vista) I disabled SSID on my LInksys router and it won't connect so I have to insert the ethernet cable and change it back.
I have read up on the Linksys site about this and following the instructions, set up a profile but it still doesn't work.
I am using the private network setting with network discovery and password protected sharing on (there are two computers connecting to the router). I am obviously doing something wrong with the settings but can someone please advise?
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: Disabling SSID

I'm sure I read recently about a known problem with Vista not automatically connecting to non-broadcasting wireless networks.
I've turned SSID broadcast back on on my network as it's not reliable with Vista (which I use occasionally) but is fine with XP.  Sad
Not applicable

Re: Disabling SSID

Thank you for the reply HP. I am relieved to know that it is not just my ineptness! My previous (Visa Basic) was fine but this Vista Business just won't connect to an unnamed network. Last night it went really pear-shaped and wouldn't connect even  with the ethernet in until I fiddled with it and got things working again. Now I think that I will have to leave well alone. I am lucky in that I don't live in a densely populated area and there is nobody around here who gives any cause for alarm.
Huh
Cliff_Jordan
Grafter
Posts: 228
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Disabling SSID

From previous posts I know we use the same Linksys router and I use mine successfully with SSID disabled - but with XP - so following the comment from HPsauce any advice I give might be a waste of time.
However, assuming you're using the same (case sensitive) SSIDs  and wireless channel settings on all equipment, the only other check I can suggest is that under the "wireless access" tab you have the "allow all" radio button selected - having "restrict access" selected would require you to set up a table of MAC codes for all the PCs you wish to use on the network before they would be able to connect by wireless.
Cliff
Not applicable

Re: Disabling SSID

Just checked Cliff and yes, it is set to Allow All. I have obtained the following interesting information (not yet fully digested) from a downloaded Word document on the Microsoft website:
Windows Vista has been designed to be as passive as possible to reduce the amount of private information that is broadcast before connecting to a network. For example, Windows Vista broadcasts the names of only preferred networks that are specifically marked as non-broadcast. If you configure your internal wireless networks to not hide the SSID, this passive behavior will prevent attackers from identifying a client’s preferred networks. In other words, not hiding the SSID actually improves security because it does not require the Windows Vista client to broadcast the network name when searching for available networks.
Will now go and read the rest of the document.
Trebor
Grafter
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Disabling SSID

That's interesting Poppy, could you provide a link for that information?  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Disabling SSID

Not really relevant but I had almost exactly that problem with a Speedtouch 121g USB wireless connector. It just wouldn't connect automatically with SSID disabled so I gave up in the end and relied on WPA encryption and the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere
Not applicable

Re: Disabling SSID

The link is: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=eb958617-b3d3-42cf-a434-87ad81259fc6&Displa...
However, if it doesn't work I found it on www.microsoft.co.uk/alldownloads/Wireless Networking in Vista and it is called
Wireless Networking in Vista.doc. (1MB download).
It is full of information and explains why it is better not to have SSID disabled.
Would be interested to know what you make of it as some of the information is a bit too technical for me and I always welcome explanations.
davidj66
Rising Star
Posts: 632
Thanks: 39
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-09-2008

Re: Disabling SSID

Very interesting article - I hid the SSID when I set up my network yesterday on the newly supplied DLink router - my XP machine and Vista desktop both connect OK but I kept having to manually sort out the Vista laptop - I now know why I should "unhide" the SSID!! Smiley
deadkenny
Grafter
Posts: 232
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎13-09-2007

Re: Disabling SSID

Quote from: poppy
On my last computer I had SSID disabled, following advice that I had read

The security benefits of hiding the SSID are a bit of a myth, but sadly the advice prevails.
Hiding the SSID is akin to sticking a tree in front of your house in an attempt to deter thieves.
It does virtually nothing to actually protect you and in a lot of cases (especially with Windows) it causes a huge amount of problems in getting a connection. A lot of instabilities with WiFi are down to hiding the SSID.
Worse is if you keep the default SSID (e.g. 'Linksys') and hide it, your neighbours who also have the same router may find their PCs trying to connect even though it's hidden. If you at least have it public then it may become obvious if there is a conflict with SSIDs.
Best thing is to change the SSID to something fairly unique which avoids others blindly connecting without realising, and set your router to only accept connections from specific MAC addresses (not perfect security but it's fairly harmless and does help prevent accidental connections). Also set it to use WPA or WPA2 only. Keep the SSID public and it'll make your life a lot easier.