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Resolved Why can't I change my SSID on my wireless router?

Discussion in 'Networking (Hardware & Software)' started by psaulm119, 2014/01/11.

  1. 2014/01/11
    psaulm119 Lifetime Subscription

    psaulm119 Geek Member Thread Starter

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    After spending a few hours this morning troubleshooting connection problems, I reset my router to its default settings. I then went in and set a password. Security is WPA2-WPA mixed. I can log in and out.

    However, I decided I don't want to advertise the make/model of my wireless router to every would-be hacker. so I logged in and changed the name. EVERY time I do this, I can no longer connect to the router with my laptop. I go back in, reset to default settings, and all is fine. I can again change password, save settings from router in a config file to my laptop. But as soon as I change the SSID I can't connect to it to get online, nor can I access the router settings via my browser.

    I've tried rebooting, unplugging the modem and router. Nothing ever works until I reset it.

    I'd like to be able to change the name. What is the issue here?
     
  2. 2014/01/11
    MrBill

    MrBill SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    And the make of the router is?
     

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  4. 2014/01/11
    psaulm119 Lifetime Subscription

    psaulm119 Geek Member Thread Starter

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  5. 2014/01/12
    Steve R Jones

    Steve R Jones SuperGeek Staff

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    When you change the name - won't it be broadcast too and have no real effect?
     
  6. 2014/01/12
    wildfire

    wildfire Getting Old

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    It does hide the make of the router which is a small step toward preventing hackers who may know of any exploits with a particular make of router. Personally I choose not to broadcast my SSID at all.
     
  7. 2014/01/12
    psaulm119 Lifetime Subscription

    psaulm119 Geek Member Thread Starter

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    Took me a while to understand your question here. Yes, as Wildfire says, instead of belkinxxx, it would say something like SurferDude, or whatever else I may choose to call my router. So any known vulnerability in my particular router wouldn't be advertized, because (at least theoretically) the hacker wouldn't know what router he was seeing.

    As was said, a small step.
     
  8. 2014/01/12
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Changing the name and disabling SSID broadcast does nothing to secure the router, except nearby neighbors won't see it in their lists of available wifi networks.

    All one need do is use a network sniffer like Wireshark to sniff the packets of all wifi networks in range. One then will see the ip addresses and SSIDs.

    If I was within 300' of your router I could tell you your router make, model number, ip address, SSID, type of security and after about 20 minutes your WPA pass key and connect to your wlan. I am not stating this to brag. Anyone with a linux laptop or unlocked android phone can do this if have the needed free software.

    The point being, disabling SSID broadcast is only an apparency of security.

    To get the new SSID to stick, and when making changes to any wlan, you should be connected by wire to the router, else you'll get disconnected after applying the changes, and the changes may not stick.
     
  9. 2014/01/12
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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    Maybe name it something like BureauOfInvestigation, DeputyDirector, SecurityServices, GeneralCounsel, CovertOperations, EnforcementDivision, CrimeWatch, ComplianceEnforcement or similar.
     
  10. 2014/01/12
    psaulm119 Lifetime Subscription

    psaulm119 Geek Member Thread Starter

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    Unfortunately, I went in and tried to change the name on the desktop--hard wired into the router--and still couldn't. I went into the router via my desktop, and the name was changed successfully (as it was when I did this change via my laptop, over wireless). But after the router rebooted, my laptop found the wireless router (with the new name I had given it), but failed multiple attempts to log in.

    EDIT: I think I misnamed this thread. I should have indicated in the title, that the problem was logging in to it via wireless, after an SSID name change. I can change the name all I want to--that's not the problem. Its logging into the router, after the name change, that is the problem.
     
  11. 2014/01/12
    James Martin

    James Martin Geek Member

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    Are you saying that someone can potentially turn on a disabled WiFi by using programs like Wireshark ?
     
  12. 2014/01/12
    wildfire

    wildfire Getting Old

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    Tony's not saying that at all James, Broadcasting your SSID has nothing to do with whether WiFi is enabled or not,
     
  13. 2014/01/12
    James Martin

    James Martin Geek Member

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    OK. Evidently, I misinterpreted his statement.

    Networking is not one of my strong points.
     
  14. 2014/01/13
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    If wifi is enabled on a wifi router, there is no such thing as 100% secure. Some wifi encryption is more secure than others.

    It does not matter is the SSID (wifi network name) is broadcast or not:

    Open with no encryption = no security at all.
    WEP encryption = password can be obtained & decyphered in under 10 minutes no matter the characters used.
    WPA encryption = password can be obtained and decrypted in 20min to many hours, depending on characters used and length.
    WPA 2 encryption = password can be obtained and decrypted in hours to days to years depending on characters used and length.
     
  15. 2014/01/13
    TonyT

    TonyT SuperGeek Staff

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    Login via a wired connection again and change the name.
    Then open Network & Sharing Center and click on "Connect to a network ".
    Then select Manually connect to wifi...
    Enter the SSID and password (case sensitive), and exact security types.

    I've found Windows 7 & 8 wifi connecting to be buggy if just select the SSID in the list at right of screen because Windows will at first try to connect using Wi-Fi Protected Setup if the router supports it. I always do the connection manually.
     
  16. 2014/01/13
    wildfire

    wildfire Getting Old

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    Tony I did acknowledge that with "It does hide the make of the router which is a small step toward preventing hackers "

    I do know this is miniscule for a blackhat but every little helps.

    My router uses WPA 2 and is restricted to authourised MAC addresses (another small step I know) but without disabling wifi completely (not an option) there's not more else I can do.
     
  17. 2014/01/13
    psaulm119 Lifetime Subscription

    psaulm119 Geek Member Thread Starter

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    Well I think I realized the problem.

    (1) there was the PSK, which until an hour ago, I had no clue what it was. Its a separate password that all devices must use to log into a router. It was the default one, that was incribed on the bottom of the router. I always thought that the password I used to enter the router settings manager was this same password. Anyways, they both are the same now.
    (2) Windows kept my login settings for all wireless networks, and I went in and deleted the old settings. As soon as I did this, it asked me for a password, which of course I entered.

    At any rate, not sure which of the two steps tripped me up, but all is well. I have changed my SSID (minimal step I know); I can get online wired or wireless, and even connect to my router via the Wii.

    I can't believe how much time I spent on this.... man I know just enough to be dangerous. Insert head bashing against brick wall here. :rolleyes:
     
  18. 2014/01/13
    Admin.

    Admin. Administrator Administrator Staff

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    Please mark your thread as 'Resolved'.

     
  19. 2014/01/14
    masterroming

    masterroming Well-Known Member

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    Ha! Yeah, could act as a deterrent at least, I have seen some with "NSAPatrol" etc. Since Snowden
     
    Last edited: 2014/01/14
  20. 2014/01/14
    SpywareDr

    SpywareDr SuperGeek WindowsBBS Team Member

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  21. 2014/01/14
    James Martin

    James Martin Geek Member

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    My router / modem uses WPA2-PSK(AES) encryption.
     

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