Service set (802.11 network)
In computer networking, a service set is a set consisting of all the devices associated with a consumer or enterprise IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN). The Service set can be local, independent, extended or mesh.
Basic service set 
The basic service set (BSS) provides the basic building-block of an 802.11 wireless LAN. In infrastructure mode, a single access point (AP) together with all associated stations (STAs) is called a BSS; not to be confused with the coverage of an access point, known as the basic service area (BSA). The access point acts as a master to control the stations within that BSS; the simplest BSS consists of one access point and one station. A BSS almost always connects to a wired distribution system (ethernet, Internet), whereas a Mesh Basic Service Set is distinguished by being connected to a wireless Distribution System.
Basic service set identification (BSSID) 
Each BSS is uniquely identified by a basic service set identification (BSSID). For a BSS operating in infrastructure mode, the BSSID is the MAC address of the wireless access point (WAP) generated by combining the 24 bit Organization Unique Identifier (the manufacturer's identity) and the manufacturer's assigned 24-bit identifier for the radio chipset in the WAP. The BSSID is the formal name of the BSS and is always associated with only one BSS. The SSID is the informal (human) name of the BSS (just like a Windows Workgroup name). A BSS is functionally a contention domain as a local or workgroup network is functionally a broadcast domain. In an ESS each BSS still has its BSSID, however, the entire ESS uses only one SSID (to facilitate laptop and Mobile Internet Device, MID, mobility and Voice over Wifi, VoWiFi, roaming) - now called an ESSID. For an IBSS, the BSSID is a locally administered MAC address generated from a 46-bit random number. The individual/group bit of the address is set to 0 (individual). The universal/local bit of the address is set to 1 (local).
A BSSID with a value of all 1s is used to indicate the wildcard BSSID, usable only during probe requests or for communications that take place outside the context of a BSS.
Extended service set 
An extended service set (ESS) is a set of one (edit-two, according to cisco) or more interconnected wireless BSSs and integrated (providing translation between 802.3 and 802.11 frames) wired local area networks that appear as a single BSS to the logical link control layer at any station associated with one of those BSSs which facilitates mobile IP and fast secure roaming applications; the BSSs may work on the same channel, or work on different channels to boost aggregate throughput. In this case, generally, all participating BSSs will use the same SSID, or informal wireless network name.[clarification needed]
Service set identification (SSID) 
Each ESS is identified by a service set identifier (SSID) - normally a human-readable text string and thus commonly called the "network name". In an IBSS, the SSID is chosen by the client device that starts the network, and broadcasting of the SSID is performed in a pseudo-random order by all devices that are members of the network. As of 2013[update] an SSID has a maximum length of 32 bytes.
Security of SSID hiding 
As a purported security enhancement, some access points allow a user to inhibit the broadcasting of their SSIDs, a tactic known as network cloaking; a station may then only join a BSS after the associated SSID has been specified explicitly. This tactic acts a deterrent to the extent that it impedes casual wireless snooping. Network cloaking does not stop a determined attack on the network and therefore cannot replace other security practices.
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- Vasseur, Jean-Philippe; Dunkels, Adam (2010). Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP: The Next Internet. Morgan Kaufmann. p. 432. ISBN 9780123751669. Retrieved 2013-02-11. "The SSID is typically a human-readable textual string. The string is typically called the network name or the network ID."