If the speed of your wireless internet connection drops sharply and web pages load slower, then Wi-Fi thieving neighbors could be the culprit. Fortunately, they can be calculated and disabled in a few minutes.
Disconnect from the Internet
This is a simple method for detecting unauthorized connections that is accessible even to an inexperienced user. All that is required is to carefully study the appearance of the router and remember the lights that are blinking on its body at the moment. Then, disable access to the wireless network in all devices (or de-energize the devices themselves) and once again examine the case of the router:
- if there are no illegal connections, then only one light will flash on it. It means that the device receives a signal, but does not distribute it;
- if two signals are on, then someone outside is using the home WI-FI network and his device remains connected.
The disadvantage of this method is that it can be difficult to turn off all gadgets that use the Internet the first time. A tablet hidden by a child or a smart home appliance can be mistaken for a 'potential enemy'.
Find out the number of connected devices
Many Internet users never log into the router's administration console, especially if they did not set up the initial connection on their own. In fact, this operation is absolutely safe from the point of view of the safety of settings and allows you to identify the thief with 100% reliability without disrupting the home network.
To enter the administration console, you must type the IP address of the router in the address bar of any browser. The standard option is 192.168.1 It could have been changed by the user earlier, so in case of unsuccessful attempts, you will have to remember the new address yourself or find it using the command line (to call Win + R for Windows) by typing 'CMD'. Then specify the word 'ipconfig' in the text field and find the line 'default gateway' in the list that appears. This will be the changed IP address of the router.
Wait until the page is fully loaded, then enter your username and password to enter. By default, they are standard for all routers: admin / admin or admin / password. In some cases, the lines may be empty. If this data was changed when the connection was created, then new values must be specified.
The next steps may vary depending on the interface specified by the router manufacturer. Their essence boils down to finding a tab listing all connected devices. Typically, it is found under the 'Clients' section. The list must be studied and an extra user must be found. For example, if there is 'Misha's Computer' in it, and there is no one with that name, then this is the thief.
Terminating such unauthorized use of the network is very simple – just change the password to connect to the Wi-Fi network. For reliability, it is recommended to change the login details for the console.
Use a home network monitoring program
It is more convenient to regularly check the status of the network and look for unauthorized connections using special programs. Popular and free software for network monitoring.
Acrylic WiFi Home
Designed for OS Windows. Its advantage lies in the detailing of wireless connections and the variability in providing information (in the form of graphs, diagrams).
With Acrylic WiFi Home, you can monitor the network status in real time, make requests to discover Wi-Fi networks and get all information about them (degree of protection, password, type of connection).
Works on devices with Android. This utility turns any smartphone or tablet into a multifunctional network analyzer. Of the seven operating modes, four are available absolutely free.
With AirScout Live, you will be able to determine all the characteristics of the access points, identify the source of interference and determine the number of connections to each router. A unique feature of the program is to take snapshots of a Wi-Fi network indoors and save them to your hard drive.
Available for all macOS users. This program is an advanced version of a network scanner that allows you not only to detect unauthorized connections, but also to solve other connection problems.
There are several sections in Wireless Diagnostics: Scan – provides data on detected wireless connections, Info – displays information about the current connection, Logs – configures diagnostic protocols for wireless connections, Performance – displays graphs of signal quality, interference and data transfer rate, Sniffer – allows you to capture unprocessed packets to export them to a third-party analyzer.