Signal Hiding

Signal hiding is a strategy used by many home and network owners to stop the automatic broadcasting of wireless access point service set identifiers (SSIDs). An SSID is a one- to 32-alphanumeric string used to identify different wireless networks, and is also referred to as the network name.

Many companies ship routers for wireless networks with default SSIDs such as "wireless," "tsunami," "xfinitywifi," etc. By default, these routers broadcast the SSID in a location radius.

Since these IDs are broadcasted and anyone in the vicinity can view the name of the network, some users opt to hide the SSIDs in order to protect their wireless networks from potential malicious passerby. Although there are some options available for increasing the security of SSIDs, such as SSID hiding to disable the broadcast feature, many cybersecurity experts disagree on whether the practice is more secure. Hiding SSIDs is not only inconvenient for many users, but it may also result in user computers and devices having to ping continuously to find the router. This makes targets more vulnerable to sniffing attacks.

Signal hiding might help provide security through obscurity but is not a strong security solution. Users should consider using WPA2 encryption and strong network keys to maintain a more secure wireless network.