David Papp Blog

Choosing a nondescript WiFi name (SSIDs)

Many people proudly proclaim to the electronic world their WiFi network name as the name of their business or family name.

This makes sense if you are Starbucks or McDonalds and you are offering free public WiFi access.

However, I think it is a mistake to be doing this if you don’t have a good reason other than not knowing what else to choose. It would be better to not attract attention to your network with a name such as Banana or Gone Fishing.

One of the best SSID’s I have seen was “Surveillance Van”. Definitely got a good chuckle out of that one.

Unfortunately Wireless technologies are generally insecure and these signals go well beyond the physical boundries of your walls. Someone could be sitting in a surveillance van across the street connected to your network.

Another mistake I commonly see is that WiFi passwords never get changed. Employees come and go but they still have access to connect to the corporate network.

Now go be creative and change the name of your Wireless network.

21 thoughts on “Choosing a nondescript WiFi name (SSIDs)”

  1. Some people take little or no measures to protect their network. I constantly see networks which aren’t even protected at all, of course I make use of these but I still tut tut to myself at their naivety afterwards. Even WEP is completely unsafe. Even I, a amateur Linux user can crack a WEP in a matter of minutes. WPA should be the only protection used in my opinion to provide optimum protection.

  2. In college, I saw some great wifi names that gave me a good laugh. However, many were unsecured, which lead to people using others connection and leeching bandwidth . If you don’t, you’ll notice a dramatic decrease in the speed of your connection and will never get what you pay for. I see nothing wrong with a funny wifi name, nothing wrong with a good chuckle, but you have to make sure it’s protected.

  3. I got a chuckle out of “Surveillance Van” as well, that would keep people off my network. But you do make a good point with choosing non-descriptive name. Thanks for the tips on keeping our wireless networks secure.

  4. I live in a dense, apartment-filled neighbourhood so can always see lots of interesting network names. Pretty much everyone’s network is password protected, which has definitely changed in the last few years. I think the word’s finally gotten around that it’s a good idea! No creative or funny names on the list right now, but a few weeks ago there was someone’s called “who owns the yappy dog” and I thought that was amusing.

  5. I personally use something generic and related to my name. I also have WPA2 I think, for security. I do check WiFi names when I go out and the one I remember the most has something like Virus1231 or Trojan12312 as its name.

  6. Some people have very clever and interesting WiFi names that gave me a huge laugh at times. I have seen names like “I hate you neighbors” and other amusing things. Thanks for trying to keep are wireless networks safe and secure,Ill be changing mine to random names or numbers and not my last name.

  7. Most people where I live just use their family name. Many of them don’t even have any security in their private networks! It’s completely unsecure.

    It’s always such a shame when I see such networks because most people here consider themselves tech savvy but still make such basic mistakes.

  8. Yes, I agree. Some of these WiFi names are very entertaining. But people are entertaining us at their peril.

    I also live in an area where I see lots of networks. Most of them are either first or last names, sometimes with numbers added to them. At the moment there is not one that’s particularly amusing, although there is a “Sabrina” which makes me think of “Sabrina The Teenage Witch.”

    I do find it surprising that people use presumably their real names for networks. I would certainly not want to use any part of my name on my WiFi. I have never been tempted. My WiFi is very nondescript and password protected, of course.

  9. The wifi names in my neighborhood are always whimsical. It really makes me smile every time I search for a network. But anyway nice article! (might steal your idea and change mine to surveillance van too!)

  10. Yeah, its also a good way to allow people to intrude on your privacy. My WiFi network is called TROJAN. Never had problems.

    Does any know how to look at the computers using a wifi network?

  11. Our wifi at home has a pretty boring name… tho sometimes I wish to change it to TURN THE ******* MUSIC OFF or simply to DIE. Ah, love thy neighbour and so on… Sorry about this.

    In my university town however, I’ve seen better names. My last fav was “llama drama”

    • Funny post. I have also considered changing my wifi name to something that sends a cryptic message to the other tenants in the building that bug me. Yet the chances are that those tenants won’t even see the name of the network because the only time anyone pulls up the list of networks in their area is when they have to re-connect or establish a wireless network in the first place.

  12. I also have seen a surveillance van one. It is near my apartment. I was just randomly looking through Wifi settings on my tablet and saw “F.B.I. Surveillance Van 45102”. I laughed pretty hard. The 45102 I understood because it was the Zip Code.

  13. “Surveillance Van”. Ha-ha. That really is a good one. I live in a building with about 11 other tenants and most of the wifi connections have odd names like “Tip Top Shape” and “Appletini”. I doubt I could figure out the passwords for any of them. My wifi connection has nothing at all to do with the password that I selected for it. Before I had wifi service I actually tried to guess a few of the passwords on the protected wifi connections and had no success.

  14. I definitely had my fair share of hilarious Wi-Fi names. One was something in relation to “Star Wars,” and I even seen some that looked as if they’re treating their SSIDs as Facebook statuses. It’s clearly making them the center of attraction for others to try and do something like a connection breach such as a DDoS.

    “Surveillance Van” definitely tops most of the ones I’ve seen so far, and I wonder if anyone has named their SSIDs as “FBI,” “CIA Investigation,” or something in relation to that. And changing one’s password is definitely crucial, especially when others may try to do brute force attacks on decrypting one’s wireless connection. There were more funny names that came to mind, but they’re really too inappropriate for me to state!

    Sometimes trying to go for the comical approach, especially for your own internet connection, may end up having the hackers getting the last laugh.

  15. I live in apartments so I always get a chuckle out of amusing wifi network names. It seems like the list is always rotating. I make sure to keep mine locked and secured with a password but I’m surprised how many do not!

  16. It’s kinda sad that so many people keep their Wi-Fi unprotected, or using WEP encryption for the password. I have my network on lockdown, where my router doesn’t broadcast, and my password uses WPA2, and that combined with the length of my password, when I type it in on https://howsecureismypassword.net/, I get an estimate of about 10 octodecillion years. So yeah, if somebody could get into my network, I’d be pretty surprised. Now, if I took it one step further and I put on MAC whitelisting, then I’d be on complete lockdown.

  17. I have had to try to access WiFi names that were the names of the rooms in a premise. Early on, people were only able to do certain things, including “work” in certain rooms of the premise. I remember a security officer telling me to get off the bench on a WiFi enabled cafeteria because they were not allowing anyone not buying any food to use the WiFi. I don’t know if that also is the way it was for WiFi connections in restaurants and other public spaces. I have also been listening to people promoting WiFi as basic human rights. I didn’t even know that it wasn’t in the first place.

  18. After reading this, I have to reflect on the fact that my WiFi name probably does call some attention to it and I wonder if I should change it. It’s still not as attention-grabbing as “surveillance van” but it still is. Often changing the password does sound like a good idea for corporate networks though. Don’t think I’ll need to do that at home too frequently.

  19. Our wifi is a mix of letters and numbers. But so are many other wifis in the neighborhood… In the beginning, when people coming over asked us which one was ours, it was always a bit difficult to remember! I’d prefer we just had a funny name and change it every now and then.

Comments are closed.