What does SSID stand for?

A wireless router placed against a white background.
SSID stands for "service set identifier" which is used to identify any given wireless network. NickS / Getty Images

SSID stands for "service set identifier," and it is used to uniquely identify any given wireless network. You can think of it as the IP address for a wireless network. Every wireless network that's set up needs to be identifiable by other devices on the network and for the data packets that will along it. Often, various wireless networks overlap in the areas they cover; so if no wireless network was distinguishable from any other wireless network, trying to send information wirelessly would be chaotic at best and utterly dysfunctional at worst.

The SSID itself is a 32-character string (the characters can be anything a computer can type, such as a letter, number, symbol, punctuation mark, and even a blank space). A wireless network can be either hidden or broadcast. If the SSID is broadcast, then anyone can find that network and hop on. However, if the SSID is hidden, a user must know the exact SSID to jump on that wireless network.

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Frequently Answered Questions

What does SSID type mean?
An SSID (service set identifier) is the primary name associated with an 802.11 wireless network. All devices on a wireless network must use the same SSID in order to communicate. An SSID is also sometimes referred to as a network name.
What is a SSID example?
A Wi-Fi network’s SSID is the technical term for its network name. For example, the SSID of a router that comes with the default name “linksys” could be named “linksys,” “Network,” “Bob’s Network,” or even “Happy Bunnies.” What is a valid SSID example? SSIDs have a maximum length of 32 characters. ASCII printable characters from the following ranges are valid: [A-Z] , [a-z] , [0-9] , and the special characters ” . ” (space) and ” – ” (dash). What is the best SSID for 2.4 GHz? Set the 2.4GHz SSID to nixcraft24ghz and password to a strong password. Set the Channel to 8 or Auto. Change the Wireless Mode to “11ng. Set the Wireless Network Mode to Mixed. Is SSID the same as network name? SSID is simply the technical term for a network name. When you set up a Wi-Fi network, you give it
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