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Author Topic: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound  (Read 7692 times)

David Sturzenbecher

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Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 03:47:02 pm »

How does hiding the SSID reduce connection attempts?. Every device still tries to connect and asks "do I know you? Have I connected to you before?"

You don't have to type in the SSID every time because the answer to the above asked question is "yes"
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 05:44:03 pm »

How does hiding the SSID reduce connection attempts?. Every device still tries to connect and asks "do I know you? Have I connected to you before?"

You don't have to type in the SSID every time because the answer to the above asked question is "yes"
Every device tries to connect to SSIDs that it knows about (think client side).  Hidden SSIDs have to be specifically entered.  A hidden SSID will not show up in any normal (special apps excluded) lists of available networks; therefore, a hidden SSID will reduce connection attempts.
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Scott Wagner
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Jelmer de Jong

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 07:36:07 pm »

Every device tries to connect to SSIDs that it knows about (think client side).  Hidden SSIDs have to be specifically entered.  A hidden SSID will not show up in any normal (special apps excluded) lists of available networks; therefore, a hidden SSID will reduce connection attempts.
My device searches for a wireless network, the wireless network says 'hi, i'm a network and my name is John'. My device checks a list and finds John, gets the corresponding password from that list and does the secret handshake with John. If the found networks are not on the list my device will not attempt to connect with a network.
 Or:
My device searches for a wireless network, the wireless network says 'hi, what's my name?'. My device checks a list and asks 'are you dave?' 'Are you Scott?' hmmm, still nothing. 'Are you John?' '-Yes, i'm John!' then the secret handshake occurs and everyone is happy.
The standard setting for most wireless devices is to not connect with wireless network if the ssid isn't found in the air. The solution to connect anyway is normaly a setting like "Connect anyway if the network is not broadcasting its name". Most people have at least one network on their phone or tablet where this setting is applied. Invite 5000 of them into a arena and your accespoint is having a bad day.

Removing the ssid does not give you any added safety, but it does make the rejection process for wireless devices extra complicated.
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2013, 09:54:57 am »

My device searches for a wireless network, the wireless network says 'hi, i'm a network and my name is John'. My device checks a list and finds John, gets the corresponding password from that list and does the secret handshake with John. If the found networks are not on the list my device will not attempt to connect with a network.
 Or:
My device searches for a wireless network, the wireless network says 'hi, what's my name?'. My device checks a list and asks 'are you dave?' 'Are you Scott?' hmmm, still nothing. 'Are you John?' '-Yes, i'm John!' then the secret handshake occurs and everyone is happy.
The standard setting for most wireless devices is to not connect with wireless network if the ssid isn't found in the air. The solution to connect anyway is normaly a setting like "Connect anyway if the network is not broadcasting its name". Most people have at least one network on their phone or tablet where this setting is applied. Invite 5000 of them into a arena and your accespoint is having a bad day.

Removing the ssid does not give you any added safety, but it does make the rejection process for wireless devices extra complicated.
While it is a trivial task to find a hidden SSID with the right tools, you have to actually discover the name before your device will attempt a connection.  I contend that this will stop most connection attempts.  Any reduction in connection attempts is a good thing.  Then again, what do I know?  I only hold CCIE and CISSP certifications.
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Scott Wagner
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Jelmer de Jong

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2013, 05:02:54 pm »

While it is a trivial task to find a hidden SSID with the right tools, you have to actually discover the name before your device will attempt a connection.  I contend that this will stop most connection attempts.  Any reduction in connection attempts is a good thing.  Then again, what do I know?  I only hold CCIE and CISSP certifications.

A device with a hidden ssid in it's network configuration in constantly broadcasting it, hoping it will find a acces point that responds. If the accepoint is broadcasting its ssid there's no need for the device to connect if that specefic network isn't found in its network config. So 5000 phone's who's homenetwork is also without ssid will check if your FOH AP is the one they are looking for since they left home. If your FOH AP is broadcasting its ssid, those phones will quickly move on to the next victim. While I do not have a certiefied network background, I do think i'm on the right track. Prove me wrong!  :)
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Bob Charest

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2013, 09:50:11 pm »

A device with a hidden ssid in it's network configuration in constantly broadcasting it ... Prove me wrong!  :)
Hi Jelmer,

If a device with a stored AP encounters the SSID that matches that AP, the AP becomes eligible for connection. It seems very unlikely that everyone's phone will have an AP stored in them that matches an AP used for mixing at a venue.

An example is that when I hide our AP's SSID, the Nexus 7 tablets that we use to adjust individual IEM mixes can't connect to it (I'm working on a way to fix that) - this would seem to contradict your premise.

Also, I think that the statement that "A device with a hidden ssid in it's network configuration is constantly broadcasting it" is incorrect. If you've got your phone set up as an AP, then yes, but just as a client? I don't believe that's correct. It is the AP that is broadcasting (if configured) its information.

My previous background was in telecom and mainframe programming, with most of the networking spent with SNA and Bi-Sync networks. Interesting area of discussion, though!

Best regards,
Bob Charest
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2013, 09:51:11 am »

A device with a hidden ssid in it's network configuration in constantly broadcasting it, hoping it will find a acces point that responds. If the accepoint is broadcasting its ssid there's no need for the device to connect if that specefic network isn't found in its network config. So 5000 phone's who's homenetwork is also without ssid will check if your FOH AP is the one they are looking for since they left home. If your FOH AP is broadcasting its ssid, those phones will quickly move on to the next victim. While I do not have a certiefied network background, I do think i'm on the right track. Prove me wrong!  :)
The key phrase here is, "a device with a hidden SSID in its network configuration is constantly broadcasting it, hoping it will find an access point that responds."  This statement is true if the device is set to "always connect".  The difference is that you are talking about a client device.  The AP is what we're concerned with, not the client device.

Hiding the SSID stops the vast majority of connection attempts.  It IS one of these "best practices".
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Scott Wagner
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2013, 10:37:22 am »

Is there a way to measure number of connection attempts?
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 11:44:16 am »

Is there a way to measure number of connection attempts?
On Enterprise Class devices, absolutely.  I'm not so sure about consumer devices.  Perhaps you could enable logging to get that information..
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Scott Wagner
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Wi-Fi Best Practices for Portable Sound
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 11:44:16 am »


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