If your Internet has recently been unexpectedly slow, someone living nearby might steal your Wi-Fi. There is only a certain amount of bandwidth, and if your bandwidth is already split between a few computers, a Smart TV, and a few phones, there is a good chance that you will see slower speeds when an Internet Freeloader sends a stream High definition video.
You do not want unauthorized devices to use your Wi-Fi network, both because of the associated performance issues and because of the high security risk. So, if something funny is going on with your Wi-Fi, it's important to check the problem and fix it (when dropping the mole).
Is someone stealing your Wi-Fi?
If you have few Wi-Fi devices in your home, you may want to unplug the device or turn off all devices and then watch the radio signal on the router. If the light continues to flicker, someone else is using your Wi-Fi.
However, this method works only if you can be sure that every wireless device you use is turned off, which may not be easy for many homes. We therefore present two detailed methods for checking for Wi-Fi thieves, regardless of your setup.
: Using an App
A number of apps provide automatic search for unusual devices logged into your Wi-Fi network. Checking these devices, especially if they connect at odd times of the day when no friends are over, can provide valuable clues. Here are a few apps that can help you locate problems.
Wi-Fi Inspector: Although this Chrome download may contain some ads, it still provides a free overview of all devices on your network, including key details such as device names, IP addresses, and more. You can save a list of custom devices and see if any unknown devices have logged on.
Paessler PRTG Router Monitoring : The Paessler solution is a complete suite of router management tools, including automatic detection of alien traffic. Analysis of the use of the network and other in-depth tools. This may be a bit of a hassle for the average homeowner who cares about his neighbors, but he's an excellent tool for small businesses who fear someone jumps through their network without permission. We recommend that you keep the 30-day free trial, which should be enough to eradicate problems.
F-Secure Router Checker: F-Secure is a web-based tool that is useful if you want to avoid all downloads. This tool is looking for more serious hacking – especially for signs that someone is using stealthy settings to hijack your Internet, which may be useful for tougher cases.
Wireless Network Watcher: This independent software is designed to help Windows and MacOS users monitor suspicious Wi-Fi activity and monitor all currently connected devices. It's similar to the Wi-Fi Inspector, but offers more compatibility if you do not want to use a Google app.  Fing: Fing is an iOS download for more mobile-centric protection. You can instantly see connected devices, what type of devices they are, and what type of connection, MAC address, etc. are displayed. You can also check the behavior of the Wi-Fi connection to find the most-stressed times that indicate someone else is jumping into your network.
Method 2: Review the Administrator Logs
If You Suspect That Your Wi You Must Log On to the Administration Page of Your Router. Most users can do this by typing "192.168.1.1" or "192.168.2.1" in the address bar. If this does not work, please refer to our guide to accessing the administration window of your router.
When you enter the Administration page, you must locate the page with the various Media Access Control (MAC) addresses attached to your computer. The location of this page depends on your router. However, they can be found in "Wireless Configuration", "Wireless Status" or in the "DHCP Client" list. You can use this list to count how many devices are connected to your Internet. If you see six MAC addresses – every device that's connected to your network has its own MAC address – but only four devices at home, someone probably steals your Internet.
Note: Old phones, game consoles, Wi-Fi Fi-enabled cameras, and other connected devices may appear in the MAC address list. You can get a better idea of the MAC address of which device by using a website like macvendors.com.
How To Keep Outsiders
If you suspect someone steals your Wi-Fi, it's a good idea to improve security (penalties for Wi-Fi Theft rate vary greatly, please consult the local law enforcement agencies). If you do not have a password on your network, add a password. If you continue to use the default router name and password, change it – you can do this on the admin page of your router.
To change your password, look in the security settings for the preshared key. Changing your Wi-Fi password triggers all current devices (including these unwanted freeloaders), so you'll need to reconnect your devices for a new password.
To change the name of your router, find the service set identifier. This is usually found in the Wireless Settings menu.
Finally, it's important to use the strongest wireless network encryption available on the network, which is currently WPA2. If your router was manufactured before 2006, it may not be compatible with WPA2 encryption. If so, you might want to consider a new router.