WiFiTagger Challenges You to a War of Wi-Fi Wits

By Wesley Fenlon

A router hack turns wireless SSIDs into digital tags

In the Router Wars, puns and pop culture references rule the digital battlefield. It's easy to distinguish the lazy from the creative: Some of us stick with default Wi-Fi hotspots like ASUS or dd-wrt, while others try to one-up their neighbors with the likes of D-Link to the Past. Hacker Addie Wagenknecht has come up with a better way to spice up the networking naming in your life--and in your neighbor's life, as a result. It's called WiFi Tagger.

The hack, which works with the firmware of a TP-Link WR741ND router, likens Wi-Fi SSIDs to digital graffiti. It allows you to create four 32-digit SSIDs instead of one, so you can jam up wireless network lists with incoherent gibberish, jokes about your neighbors, or F-bombs galore. Or even a haiku, if you're feeling really creative.

The hack, available here, runs on the OpenWrt firmware. That means it could potentially work on other OpenWrt-supported hardware, but routers are always finicky. The TP-Link costs about 30 bucks on Amazon, so it's a relatively cheap hack even if you don't already own the proper router.

Actually connecting to one of the four networks allows you to change the SSID name, which could very well start a tagging war or be used as a crude messaging platform. Digital graffiti for good, or digital graffiti for evil--the choice is yours. Not optional: Listening to the Jet Grind Radio soundtrack while tagging.