Hidden SSID: Few things you should know

Hidden SSID could be useful for some of our users, but it could also associate with issues underwater. We hope this article would help users to break few myths, and understand the potential risk of Hidden SSID.

  • SSID: Service Set Identifier.
  • FILS: Fast Initial Link Set-up.
  • RNR: reduced neighbor report.
  • PSC: Preferred Scanning Channel.

Hidden SSID is Not help to secure your Wi-Fi Network

When we mention SSID, we’re talking about a name to identify your network from Wi-Fi list. And What Hidden SSID trying to do is: keep your SSID from seeing in the visible Wi-Fi list. It’s not even a password. A hidden name is NO WAY to enhance your Wi-Fi security. But if you’re living in a crowded area and having trouble with too many people attempting to connect to your Wi-Fi resource, and your router has to waste part of the performance to reject these requests all the time, Hidden SSID might be ideal for you to avoid such kind of troubles.

Hidden SSID causes potential connection problems, not stabilize it

Stable and quality connection could also be the reasons why people set up a Hidden SSID, especially when you combine it with preferred Wi-Fi. But what actually happens here is: it varies by Platform/Driver. Windows would attempt to connect to other network rather than Hidden SSID with first priority – even if you configured an auto-connect. Platforms like Android and iOS could have diverse driver to define their action. The device would waste time to disconnect and reconnect to a proper option. And if you have multiple APs in the environment, your device will still send probe requests when it’s already connected with one of AP. Hidden SSID guarantees nothing of the connectivity, but security risk.

Hidden SSID somehow makes your Wi-Fi TARGET

Hidden SSID is just not visible, but doesn’t mean it is invisible. Once the device connects to the Hidden SSID, it will keep broadcasting unsolicited Probe-Request to AP/Router around, basically leaking your SSID EVERYWHERE (until it is unable to broadcast). For potential hackers, a secret SSID might be much valuable to crack at some point, not to mention the sniffing tools on the internet can easily find your Hidden SSID.

You're wasting a 6GHz band.

To access 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, the easy way is sending probe request from your device to every channel and APs, checking probe responds to see which is qualify. In 6GHz, the probing now can only be realized on the 20MHz channels, scanning 59 channels of 20MHz is not an efficient way, let’s just say. Although mechanisms like FILS frame, unsolicited probe responses, RNR, PSC might sort of create a short cut to solve the problem, but it’s still limited by AP, region and law. Or you’re using a tri-band AP with PSC. That could be another saying. So, if you’re demanding high performance and faster data rate for 6GHz band, why bother to set up Hidden SSID and take risk to slow it up?

Hidden SSID complicated everything.

Setting up SSID itself could be very tricky.And if you’re going to join a new device, that’s another tricky part. You have to find your Hidden SSID and connect to it each by each, plus it influences your connectivity, and increases potential security risks, wastes power from both of device and AP to do an auto-probing, and reduces the efficiency.