Change nickname

Wireless access points are wireless devices that will take the network signal from a router and broadcast it wirelessly. An AP and a Wireless Router are two different things but many people simply lump all the wireless devices like that under the term AP, because they are the point at which you access your network.

SSID stands for Service Set Identifier (802.11 Nickname) and is the primary name of a WiFi network. This field is a little-known feature of the wireless spec that sends your hostname to the Access Point.

Most router manufacturers set default router SSIDs like NETGEAR_XXXX or Linksys_XXXX. Anyone in the area with a packet sniffer can see your “nickname” and know what type of router you are using. Changing the name of a router does not really increase its security, but it does signal security awareness and that hacking may not be that easy. You can also hide the name by turning off the SSID broadcast, but that too is not a significant cybersecurity measure. Nobody will be able to see the SSID if it is hidden, but the traffic on the network can still be tracked.


Turn on your Wi-Fi.

  • Windows: Click on the Wi-Fi icon located on the bottom right corner

  • Mac: Click on the Wi-Fi icon located on the upper right corner

  • Android: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi

  • iOS: Go to Settings > Wi-Fi

  • Linux: Depends on desktop and network manager

Make sure the router you are connected to is the correct SSID. Mind the evil twin attack, a hack attack in which a hacker sets up a fake Wi-Fi network that looks like a legitimate access point to steal victims’ sensitive details.

Change SSID

All routers are different, but in general the route to changing the nickname is something like this:

  • Log in to the router (admin), for example with the default network name and password printed on the case of the router.

  • Find your router’s IP address.

  • Change the SSID and password to, for example “FBI Surveillance Van”.

  • Update the connection for all devices.