People typically encounter an SSID when they are using a mobile device to connect to a wireless network. For example, if you take your laptop to a coffee shop and attempt to connect to the local Wi-Fi network the shop provides, your screen will display a list of SSIDs. These are the names of all the networks that are within range of your mobile device. To connect, select the name of the appropriate local network and enter the password if one is required.
SSIDs can be up to 32 characters long, but there are no restrictions on minimum size. Note that some public networks, typically managed by a business, may require you to first read and agree to an online terms of service (ToS) before allowing you to connect.
How to find your SSID
The SSID number on a router is typically printed on a sticker located at the bottom or side of the router itself. The number can also be found in the WiFi modem or router’s owner’s manual.
If someone has changed the router’s SSID, this printed information will be outdated and therefore not work. You can find the updated SSID on your operating system—the steps are listed below.
1. Click on the WiFi icon located on the bottom right corner. A list of available networks (SSIDs) will open.
2. Find your current network’s name. The network you are connected to will appear at the top of the pop-up window with Connected underneath. This is your SSID.
1. Click on the WiFi icon located at the upper right corner. This will open a list of available SSIDs.
2. The network you are connected to will have a colored WiFi icon next to it. This is your SSID.
1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi
2. The network you’re connected to will be shown at the top with Connected underneath. This is your SSID.
1. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi
2 The network name you are connected to will have a check mark to the left of it. This is your SSID.
SSID frequently asked questions (FAQ)
How do I reset the SSID?
To reset your router to factory settings (which will reset your SSID to the default number that is physically located on your router), look for a small reset or restore factory settings button on the router. The button is often protected inside a hole, and you’ll need a toothpick or pin to press it. Press and hold the button until the router reboots to reset the SSID.
Can you hide your SSID?
You can change the settings on your router to turn off your SSID broadcast so that it can’t be seen publicly. While nobody will be able to see your SSID, the traffic from your network can still be tracked with the right tools. It also won’t hide your IP address. To hide your SSID:
- Login to your router’s admin panel by entering its IP address into your browser.
- Look in the navigation bar for a section titled Wireless or something similar. If there are subsections, go to Wireless Settings, Wireless Options, or Basic Settings.
- On the following menu, you should be able to change your SSID, channel options, and security depending on your router. Look for an option called Enable SSID Broadcast, Hide SSID, Visibility Status, or Enable Hidden Wireless.
- Once you’ve found this option, click the checkbox or toggle option to hide your SSID.
What if there are multiple networks with the same SSID?
As long as your device is connected to WiFi, there’s no issue with having multiple networks with the same SSID number within the area. However, if your device disconnects and then tries to reconnect, this could cause confusion as it will try to connect to the network with the strongest signal.
Make sure your SSID has a unique password. If it doesn’t, criminals will be able to monitor your internet traffic, steal your passwords, credit card details, and personal data.