The terms BSSID, ESSID, & SSID are all used khổng lồ describesections of a wireless network (WLAN)—the three terms have sầu slightlydifferent meanings. As a wireless user you are concerned only withthe broadcast SSIDs that let you connect khổng lồ a wireless network. Asan administrator, you also need khổng lồ keep trachồng of BSSIDs và, lớn alesser degree, ESSIDs.

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An SSID is the Name of a Network

Because multiple WLANs can coexist in one airspace, each WLANneeds a chất lượng name—this name is the service mix ID (SSID) ofthe network. Your wireless device can see the SSIDs for all availablenetworks—therefore, when you cliông chồng a wireless ibé, the SSIDsrecognized by device are listed. For example, suppose your wirelesscác mục consists of three SSIDs named Student, Faculty, & Voice. Thismeans that an administrator has created three WLAN Service profilesand, as part of each WLAN service protệp tin, provided the SSID nameStudent, Faculty, or Voice. (For directions khổng lồ create a WLAN Serviceprotệp tin, see Creating and Managing a WLAN Service Protệp tin.)

Figure 1: Radgame ios can have up lớn 32 SSIDs

As a WLAN user, you are concerned only with the SSIDs. You selectone from the danh sách on your laptop or other device, provide your username& a password, & use the SSID. You might not have access lớn allSSIDs—the authentication & access privileges are usually differentfor different WLANs and their associated SSIDs.

BSSIDs Identify Access Points & Their Clients

Packets bound for devices within the WLAN need lớn go lớn thecorrect destination. The SSID keeps the packets within the correctWLAN, even when overlapping WLANs are present. However, there areusually multiple access points within each WLAN, and there has tobe a way to lớn identify those access points and their associated clients.This identifier is called a basic service mix identifier (BSSID) andis included in all wireless packets.

Figure 2: Each Access Point has its Own BSS

As a user, you are usually unaware of which basic service set(BSS) you currently belong to. When you physically move sầu your laptopfrom one room to lớn another, the BSS you use can change because you movedfrom the area covered by one access point to lớn the area covered by anotheraccess point, but this does not affect the connectivity of your máy tính.

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As an administrator, you are interested in the activity withineach BSS. This tells you what areas of the network might be overloaded,& it helps you locate a particular client. By convention, an accesspoint’s MAC address is used as the ID of a BSS (BSSID). Therefore,if you know the MAC address, you know the BSSID—và, becauseall packets contain the originator’s BSSID, you can trace apacket. This works fine for an access point with one radio và oneWLAN configured.

Most often, there are different BSSIDs on an access point foreach WLAN configured on a radio. If you have sầu an access point with2 radgame ios & 32 WLANs configured on each, you would have sầu 64 BSSIDsplus the base access point BSSID. To accommodate the multiple BSSIDs,each access point is assigned a chất lượng blochồng of 64 MAC addresses.Each radio has 32 MAC addresses and supports up lớn 32 service setidentifiers (SSIDs), with one MAC address assigned to lớn each SSID asa basic service set identification (BSSID). All MAC addresses foran access point are assigned based on the base MAC address of theaccess point.


The access point MAC address bloông chồng is listed on a label on thebachồng of the access point.

To view a các mục of SSIDs for a network, look at the danh mục of WLANService Profiles in Network Director.

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Ad-Hoc Networks Do Not Have sầu a MAC Address

Every BSS needs a BSSID, & using the access point’sMAC address works fine most of the time. However, an ad-hoc network,a network that forwards traffic from node to lớn node, has no access point.When a BSS does not have sầu a physical access point, in an ad-hoc networkfor example, the network generates a 48-bit string of numbers thatlooks và functions just lượt thích a MAC address, and that BSSID goes inevery packet.

An ESS Consists of BSSs

An extended basic service set (ESS) consists of all of the BSSsin the network. For all practical purposes, the ESSID identifies thesame network as the SSID does. The term SSID is used most often.