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Option to disable SSID

I have been setting up SSIDs, and never noticed until a few days ago that there is an option to disable SSID. What is the reason for using this feature? I am having a specific problem where one notebook out of three does not have access to the Internet, but does seem to be getting a wireless signal.
The term "SSID" is an abbreviation for "service set identifier", and essentially is used to identify a wireless network. It consists of a unique 32-character identifier, which is attached to the head of packets that are sent over a wireless LAN and acts as a password of sorts to identify that snippet of data that is being transmitted. It is not specifically a security function, but acts more as an identifier -- acting much like a sign that pinpoints the types of books catalogued in a traditional library.

Users can set up individual SSID networks to identify corporate-wide connections, or differentiate the wireless activities within each office department (sales versus marketing versus shipping, and so on). If you have an SSID activated, then each client user on that network must enter the appropriate SSID identifier within the options section of the computer's networking setup. If you leave the SSID blank, then your computer and wireless device might still recognize the presence of one or more wireless networks, but the user will not be able to access the network and the Internet without that SSID code. Essentially, the SSID code manages traffic in areas that might have multiple wireless networks in operation -- in a convention hall, for example. If you do not have a matching SID code, then you will not be allowed to join the wireless party.

This might be at the root of the problem you are facing with some of your notebook systems, which do not have wireless access to the Internet. Another roadblock might be that the networking options within these systems have been set to restrict access if there is a "non-secure" wireless system in operation -- which essentially is every WLAN because of their non-secure nature. The solution here -- at least in the case of Windows XP -- is to check a box within networking options that acknowledges the fact that you realize the system is not secure but you want to continue anyway.

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