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How can I hide my WLAN's SSID in an Aruba AP-61?

Learn the pros and cons of hiding your access point (AP) service set identifiers (SSIDs) on an Aruba AP-61, from our wireless network expert, Lisa Phifer.

Hide AP (Access Point) SSID's on an Aruba AP-61. Learn the pros and cons of hiding your networks SSID from our expert Lisa Phifer.

Although some folks suggest eliminating SSIDs from Access Point beacons (a.k.a., "hiding SSIDs"), I don't recommend this practice. There are many other frames that carry SSIDs, so simply removing this network name from beacons won't stop anyone with a wireless analyzer from learning your WLAN's SSID anyway. On the other hand, removing the SSID from beacons forces every client (legitimate or otherwise) to send probe requests to find APs with the desired name. The result is an increase in wireless overhead (and perhaps helpdesk calls from confused users) without significant reduction in risk.

More on this topic

  • To learn more about this common but questionable practice, read Lisa's Mobility Loop blog post: SSID broadcasts and other security legends.

Nonetheless, most vendors let you hide SSIDs, including Aruba. If you're configuring an Aruba controller through its GUI, choose Wireless AP Configuration and select the AP Group that you want to modify. Edit the SSID Profile for the WLAN you want to update. Choose the Advanced tab and check the "Hide SSID" box. Alternatively, if you're configuring the SSID profile using CLI commands, enter a command of the form "wlan ssid-profile "MyWLANsName" hide-ssid"

This was last published in July 2009

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