SSID Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

You probably use SSID on a daily basis — but do you know what it is? This article will provide you with everything you need to know.

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If you’re reading this article on your mobile device, there’s a good chance that you encountered an SSID to connect to a wireless network — but do you know what the acronym SSID stands for? Or do you happen to know what it means? Not to worry; we’re here to help. 

In this post, our team here at The Word Counter is exploring SSID to uncover its definition, how they work, and more. So if you’ve ever wondered about the abbreviation SSID — keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of SSID?

SSID is an abbreviation for Service Set Identifier and refers to a unique ID consisting of 32 characters used for naming wireless networks. In layman’s terms, an SSID is a name for a WiFi network. 

When you set up a wireless home network, you give it a unique name to differentiate it from the other networks in your neighborhood. You’ll see this name when you connect your digital devices to your wireless network. 

What Does an SSID Do?

As mentioned, SSID stands for Service Set Identifier. Under the IEEE 802.11 wireless networking standard, the term “service set” refers to a group of wireless networking devices with the matching parameters. With this in mind, the SSID is simply the identifier (or name) that tells you which service set (or network) to join.

Used by all types of WiFi access points — including hotspots and public networks — a default SSID is usually provided by the router manufacturer, but you can change it to anything you like. This name allows certain stations to connect to their desired network when there are several independent networks that operate in the same physical area or in close proximity to the router. 

Each service set of wireless devices communicating directly with each other is known as a basic service set or BSS. Many basic service sets can be grouped together to form one logical WLAN segment, which is commonly referred to as an extended service set or ESS — SSID is the 1-32 byte alphanumeric name given to each ESS. 

How Can I Find My SSID?

Like your WiFi network password (WPA2 key), your WiFi network name — aka SSID — is located on a label that’s either on the bottom of your modem or on the side. 

Still can’t find it? Give your WiFi provider a quick call. More often than not, an IT specialist can locate your SSID in a matter of minutes.  

Are There Ways I Can Protect My Wireless Network?

Despite what many people may think, your WiFi Network doesn’t end at your office walls. It’s possible for the network to extend well over 200 feet through the air. That means that if your wireless access point isn’t properly secured, hackers can gain access to it. This means they may be able to do the following:

  • Monitor all the websites you’ve visited
  • View all the files (including private photos and text) on your digital devices
  • Spread a virus
  • Bog down your Internet connection speed
  • Send spam 
  • Perform illegal activities using your SSID

Protecting your wireless network is of the utmost importance! That said, here are a few tips to keep your WiFi network secure:

  • Tip #1: Change the default SSID or “name” of your wireless network. 
  • Tip #2: Make the password to your wireless network something unique, as well as fairly strong.
  • Tip #3: Enable network encryption.
  • Tip #4: Ensure you have a good firewall. 

Other Tech Terms You Should Know

Now that you have a pretty good understanding of SSID, let’s bring your attention to a few other tech terms that you should know: 

  • IP Address: The Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules for communication over the internet.
  • Netgear: This is a popular United States manufacturer of computer networking equipment and other computer hardware. 
  • VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) that provides the opportunity to establish a protected network connection when using public networks. 
  • Web Browser: AKA Internet browser or simply browser, a web browser is simply application software for accessing the great World Wide Web. 
  • Wireless Lan (wireless local area network): A wireless computer network that connects devices using wireless communication to form a local area network within a limited area.
  • RAM: RAM is the hardware component used to store data. 
  • Code: Code is the string of commands used by different programming languages in order to manage, create, or edit computer applications or programs. 
  • Cyber Security: Cyber security is the process of protecting important data from unauthorized users or hackers looking to steal personal information. 
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth is an indicator of how quickly data travels along a connection.


SSID stands for Service Set Identifier and refers to a unique ID that’s made up of 32 characters used to name wireless networks. In other words, it’s the name assigned to a WiFi network. 

Whether you have an Android, Mac, or Apple phone, if you’ve ever surfed the web on your mobile device, you’ve likely connected to an SSID.


  1. Definition of SSID | PC
  2. Worldwide Enterprise WLAN Market Shows Strong Growth in Q4 and the Full Year 2021, According to IDC | Business Wire 
  3. Securing Wireless Networks | Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency