What Does the AP Name Mean When Setting Up Wireless?

By Serm Murmson

Each router broadcasts its AP name unless you disable that feature.
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When you set up your wireless connection, the router or device that enables the connection is called an access point. The AP name is the name by which other devices list your wireless router. In order to set up a secure and efficient wireless network, it is a good idea to change the AP name and configure the encryption of your new connection.

Default AP Name

When you configure a wireless router for the first time, the device provides a default AP name. Typically, the default AP name is closely related to the device manufacturer. In order to avoid confusion, some default AP names include both the manufacturer and a number. This helps distinguish between access points hosted by similar devices. If the AP name is simply the name of the manufacturer, users could have difficulty accessing your device due to the possibility of other devices with identical AP names.

Custom AP Names

You can change your router's AP name in order to differentiate it from other access points within the same area. By default, this AP name is visible to any wireless devices within your device's wireless broadcast range. Therefore, it's a good idea to avoid using offensive names.

Router Configuration

Enter the router's IP address into your browser's address bar to open your router's configuration menu. Check your device's documentation or the device manufacturer's website to find the IP address. The exact layout of the configuration menu differs based on the device manufacturer. In the configuration menu, you can change the AP name and security of your wireless connection. The AP name may also be labeled service set identifier -- SSID -- or wireless network name.

Access Point Security

In the router settings configuration, enable the encryption of your connection. You may have a choice between a number of different encryption protocols; you should select WPA2 encryption if your router offers it. You should also create a strong password for your connection. If you require even more security, you can disable SSID broadcast within the router configuration screen. This hides your AP name from devices in the area. If you do this, however, you will have to search for the specific AP name in order to connect a device to it. It won't show up in the list of possible Wi-Fi connections.