Have you noticed that your Wi-Fi is slowing down? Or are you worried about the neighbors or a potential hacker breaking into your network to steal your internet?
Even if your neighbor is simply “borrowing” your Wi-Fi, having someone on your network could potentially be dangerous to you and your privacy. Read on to see how to find out if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and what to do about it.
Is someone stealing your Wi-Fi?
What are the dangers of someone stealing your Internet connection?
No matter how benign it may seem to have someone else on your Wi-Fi network, it’s not good.
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Your connection slows down for every device added. If someone breaks into your Wi-Fi network and uses it for streaming, gaming, or anything else that uses a lot of data, your connection is sure to slow down even more.
They may also have access to files stored on your devices that are connected to that Wi-Fi, and more experienced hackers may end up accessing devices that are on the network. That means the information you enter is no longer secure or private.
You are also losing the Wi-Fi connection that you pay good money for if someone else is stealing that connection.
How to check if someone is connected to your Wi-Fi
To avoid all of the above issues, make sure to check if someone is on your network.
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This first step works if you don’t have too many devices connected to your Wi-Fi router. If you have five or fewer devices on your Wi-Fi, this is a good method. You can do it with more devices, but after following these steps, you may need to log in to the Wi-Fi network again afterwards, so the more devices you have connected, the longer it will take.
1) Disconnect your devices and check the router
First, you can disconnect any devices you have connected to Wi-Fi (such as Alexa).
Then turn off Wi-Fi on any other plug-in outlets such as your phone, tablet, and computer.
Then check your router to see if there is any activity. If you still notice blinking lights, there is probably someone on your network.
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2) Login to your router and check the activity
You can log in your network app or online IP address to check which devices are connected. If you have a physical router, follow the steps on the back or bottom to sign in online, and then look at the devices that are on your network. If you see any devices that you don’t recognize or that are in different areas from where you and your devices are, remove them from the network.
3) Use an app to discover devices on your network
You can use one of the many apps to check a complete list of devices connected to your network. This is similar to checking it on your router, it’s just a third-party option that you can use on iOS and Android devices.
The app will scan your Wi-Fi network and show you the devices that share it.
How to kick strangers off your Wi-Fi network
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So you’ve used any of the above methods, and now you want to get the stranger off your Wi-Fi. How do you do that?
1) Block/ban/remove unknown users
By following the steps above, you should be able to block, ban, or at least remove any unknown devices or users on your Wi-Fi network.
2) Change your router name/password
You should never have an open Wi-Fi network, so make sure you’ve chosen a strong Wi-Fi name and password so that no one can easily guess your login information. You should also be able to do this by logging into your Wi-Fi app/website, or by following the login instructions on the back of your router.
Once you change your Wi-Fi name and password, you’ll have to reconnect all your devices, so anyone else without this new login information won’t be able to easily get back in.
3) Update your router
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Buying the right router can make all the difference in your overall digital security. We’ve rated our top picks for secure routers. Head over to CyberGuy.com and search for “top 5 routers for the best security.” They all come with at least WPA2 access, which is the minimum level of protection you want when choosing a router.
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