If you are experiencing low-speed internet on your WiFi Network then there is a possibility that someone is stealing it. Here’s our how-to guide to find-out if someone is stealing your WiFi and how to stop them.
Wireless routers have indicator lights that blinks if there is any wireless activity(s) happening with the router. So one way to find out if anyone is using your WiFi is to shut down all wireless devices and see if lights are still blinking. The problem with this is that you may forget to switch off other WiFi devices like gaming consoles or smartphones, therefore, this technique doesn’t give you correct information.
Network Admin Method: Check Your Router Device List
If the 1st method doesn’t work, then router’s admin console can help you find more about your wireless network activity. To log into admin panel of your router you have to find the router’s IP address. You can find your IP address:
Type ipconfig in windows command prompt.
Open Network Preference pane, you can see the IP address listed next to “Router”.
Type the IP address in browser window. You’ll be prompted to login to you router. Enter login and password (usually written on router documentation) to login. Now, the first thing you must do is to change the password of router’s admin panel.
After that look for a “Connected Devices” section which provides a list of Device names, IP & MAC addresses. Compare those addresses with your device’s address. If the address doesn’t match then it means an unauthorized device is using your WiFi.
What to do if you find an Unauthorized Device?
As mentioned above, changing your password will prevent other users to use your network unless they provide a new security key(which matches yours). The IP & MAC addresses are not enough to find the location of stealers. If you want more information about them try the detective method.
Detective Method: Use a Network Monitoring Software Tool
A software called MoocherHunter can be used to locate wireless hackers from traffic they send onto the network. This tool is also used by law enforcement agencies in Asia to track WiFi hackers.
Note: We are not in favour of using this tool as you may end up having a physical confrontation with your neighbor.
Moving Forward: Increase Your Wi-Fi Security
The last step is to increase your wireless network’s security. If you are using WPA2 or WPA you are pretty much secure. If your connection isn’t encrypted or if you’re using WEP - which is very easy to crack - your Wi-Fi is fairly vulnerable to anyone looking for a free ride. If you are not sure which encryption type you are using, go to wireless connection properties and see there.
Things To Remember
You should always use WPA/WPA2 encryption to tackle WiFi hacking. For gaming consoles like Nintendo or other devices(which doesn’t run on WPA) the best way is to have a separate open or WEP encrypted network.
Source : http://www.gizmocrazed.com