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How to Find Out if People Steal Your Wi-Fi

You have set up a great Wi-Fi network. You have chosen the best router out there, you have replaced its antennas with custom built, higher gain Wi-Fi antennas, you’ve replaced the extension cables, and now your Wi-Fi signal propagates close to the border of the galaxy. Or at least 100 yards away from the router…

Sadly, this was also the exact moment when your neighbors have detected your shiny Wi-Fi network and they have connected to it. Maybe you’ve used an antique protocol. Or maybe you’ve used the name of your cat as a Wi-Fi password, who knows? Apparently, THEY know.

Many people in Germany are scared that they’ll be fined because others may be using their Wi-Fi networks to download music and movies illegally. It’s not a joke – here’s the actual news.

So how can you find out if people are using your network without asking for your permission? Because if they use it, they may also get access to your files and see what you are doing online. It’s a terrible thing, but fortunately there are several ways of solving this problem for good.

1. Begin by evaluating the download and upload speeds. If your Internet used to be much faster a few months ago, chances are that somebody else is using your Wi-Fi network. So go to this site and test your Internet connection speed, and then, if it’s smaller than what it should be, contact your Internet service provider.

test-internet-connection-speeds

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, it’s time to start spying on those villains. There are several methods that can help you see what devices are connected to your Wi-Fi network.

2. First of all, you should log into your router’s admin page and check its DHCP Clients. All the connected devices should be listed there, be them computers, tablets, smartphones and so on.

3. I am always baffled by the huge number of people who don’t write down their passwords using a good old, trusty notebook. I hope that you aren’t one of them, because this may mean that you can’t remember the router admin pass.

Well, I hope that you have changed the default router password when you’ve installed the router. But if you have forgotten to do that, an “admin/admin” user/pass combination may get you in. And if it does, please change the router password right away.

I know, you’ve always wanted to write down those passwords but you haven’t gotten enough time at your disposal. So, is there anything else that you can try if you can’t log into your router’s admin page?

Most routers will have a tiny hole that gives you access to a tiny switch. Use a pin to press it for 30 seconds or so and you’ll reset the router to its default factory settings, resetting the password as well. Then, log into the router using the default password – it should be printed in the router manual.

4. If everything fails, I’ve got another solution for you – use an app to see the devices that are connected to your network! The Fing Network Scanner app, which is available for both Android and iOS does a great job.

fing-network-scanner

Once you’ve gotten the list of devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi, it’s time to identify them. Try to determine which ones are yours for sure, and which ones look suspicious. If you aren’t sure about a particular device, turn it off and then back on; this way, you’ll be able to determine its MAC address, and thus identify it.

If you discover a device that isn’t yours, chances are that an evil person is connected to your network. If this is the case, change your Wi-Fi password right away, this time choosing a much stronger one. Don’t forget to use the new password to connect all your devices to the network again, of course.