Hidden SSID in a Belkin Router
Your Belkin router has the ability to hide its Service Set Identifier, more commonly known as its SSID. The SSID is the router name that you see when using the wireless connection manager in Windows to scan for available networks. Hiding the SSID may enhance the security of your network, but doing so also has potential drawbacks.
Logging in to the Router
The Web-based configuration interface of your Belkin router allows you to access its security settings. You can access this screen by opening a Web browser and typing the IP address of the router -- usually "192.168.2.1." If you have not changed the router's default login credentials, click the "Submit" button without entering a user name or password to log in.
Hiding the SSID
The "Channel and SSID" option under the "Wireless" heading on the left side of the configuration screen allows you to enable and disable the SSID broadcast of your Belkin router. You can hide the SSID by selecting this option, clearing the check from the box next to "Broadcast SSID" and clicking "Apply Changes."
Benefit of Hiding SSID
If you disable the SSID broadcast of your Belkin router, anyone conducting a standard scan for routers using the connection software included with Windows will be unable to see that a wireless network is present. This may be a simple way to deter hacking attempts; if a hacker is unaware that you have a wireless network, then he will not attempt to gain access. This also prevents neighbors from attempting to use your Internet connection without your permission.
Drawbacks of Hiding SSID
Although hiding your Belkin router's SSID may deter casual hacking, hiding the SSID does not make your broadcast invisible. A hacker can still detect the broadcast using freely available software such as InSSIDer. Therefore, it should not be considered a replacement for a strong encryption algorithm such as WPA2. In addition, being able to scan for your router's SSID makes the process of adding new devices to the network simple. If the SSID is hidden, you will have to enter all of the configuration information manually each time you want to add a new device such as a computer, mobile device or game console to the network.