How to Detect if Someone's Stealing Your Wi-Fi?


How to Detect if Someone's Stealing Your Wi-Fi?


Wi-Fi has revolutionized the internet experience for a vast majority of people from all across the globe. Faster download speeds, better browsing experience and much efficient streaming of live content has been welcomed with open arms. With all these googs, Wi-Fi technology has its bads too.

Piggybacking of Wi-Fi has become a common issue than ever before. Prying freeloaders snoop into Wi-Fi networks and consume precious bandwidth resulting in a downgraded performance of the entire Wi-Fi network. If your Wi-Fi connection has been speeding down recently and you are having issues with connectivity, chances are you are a victim of Wi-Fi piggybacking. Here is an article giving some tips on how to face such scenarios.

Understand your Wi-Fi network

For successfully fighting Wi-Fi intrusion it is necessary to understand the basics of your Wi-Fi network. This knowledge can give you enough displacement to fight a lot of issues in future. Here are some of the basic things about the Wi-Fi network you should know.

  • Basically a Wi-Fi network consists of a broadband connection from a modem. The modem could be of DSL, cable or satellite.

  • These modems are connected to a wireless router which creates a network and shares the connection among Wi-Fi enabled devices.
  • This set up is referred to as LAN or Local Area Network. LAN is exactly where you include the devices which you wish to connect to the network. Your router will also have a DHCP table which will list out all the devices connected to the network.
  • Each of the devices connected to the network will have their unique MAC addresses. Router will make use of the address to provide an IP address to the device. IP address is the door to connectivity.
  • Finding freeloaders


    One of the basic steps in finding freeloaders is to check whether your network is prone to such activity.

    • To check if your network is secure, use a WEP key (Wireless Encryption protocol key) while you set up your router. If you are using a WEP key, you will be prompted to enter it every time you access Wi-Fi.
    • If you are not using a WEP key then your Wi-Fi system is lacking a basic security feature. Anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device can access your network and use Wi-Fi for free.
    • Although having a WEP key is not the ultimate solution for this issue. People will still be able to 'Login' to your network if they have snooped information regarding your password.
    • A good way to check if someone is accessing your network will be to view the wireless network log.
    • You can also check your Wi-Fi network to see if alien devices are listed on the network list. If yes, then someone has hacked into your network and is consuming your connection’s bandwidth. If you can’t find any alien devices listed there check the DHCP client table for unauthorized entries.
    • Stopping unauthorized access

      1. Start by using a WEP key for securing your network if you haven’t already.
      2. You can further enhance the security by using security protocol like WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). However, a hacker with good understanding of Wi-Fi networks can still get through WPA.
      3. So to prevent such a scenario, Manual DHCP assignment is suggested. You can implement this by setting DHCP in the router to manual mode and entering the physical addresses of the connected devices manually.
      4. Move ahead with security by disabling the SSID broadcasting of the router which will make it invisible. It won’t show up if someone searches for available Wi-Fi networks.
      5. Please Note: If you are having difficulties with the technical side of protection, you can use Internet monitoring software which will give you enough support to prevent unauthorized access to your network.

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