Detecting if Someone is Stealing Your WiFi
It is perhaps difficult to imagine, but just 20 years ago, the Internet was nothing much a difference – a method for unbelievably smart school instructors and academics to send information, and for a few individuals to share information across the Internet network. E-mail was nothing like it is nowadays. The first email structures found at schools or even through interpretations offered with the first Internet service providers (ISPs) like Prodigy and AOL were often difficult to use.
Moving forward to 2009, things have changed expressively. On these days, you have to pay for Internet access per minute. That is not how it is anymore. Like almost every technology, modifications occur rapidly and frequently for the better. In addition to that, the technology becomes affordable and easy to use. The Internet has undoubtedly devoured this transformation. The latest advance in digital communication constitutes wireless Internet or Wi-Fi. Found in cafes, libraries and airports throughout the globe, Wi-Fi has prepared to use the Internet as common as using your cellphone – which itself is a technology that exploded over the past decade. Unfortunately, unsavory actions inevitably have started to undertake even the most harmless settings like the Internet.
Possibly, you are reading this article because you are suspicious that someone is piggybacking or using your Wi-Fi without your consent. You prefer to know how to determine if you’re right your intuition. When wireless trespassers steal your Wi-Fi, they decelerate your bandwidth and what’s bothering; they may even extract information off your computer or corrupt machines on your network with a virus. Don’t worry; this will give you the bullets to protect your network against these invaders. Let’s start by taking a short view what comprises your Wi-Fi network. This will help you take control of the Internet service you pay for.
Before you are able to detect if someone is cheating your wireless Internet connection, it is essential to know some basic computer networking terms.Let us consider a couple of the areas in a wireless network that will contribute you a baseline for finding out if your Wi-Fi signal is being used out by chance.
A wireless network consists of an Internet connection from a DSL, cable or satellite modem. You connect the cable modem to the wireless router, which allocates the wireless signals and creates a network.
This is referred as local area network (LAN). This LAN is composed of your computing machine peripherals specifically your desktop or laptop and a printer. Your router has a dynamic host client protocol (DHCP) table. In effect, your DHCP table is your visitor list of every authorized computer or device.
Every device has a unique media access control (MAC) address. You can think of this as its name or signature. MAC addresses are allocated by the manufacturer, but can be altered by users, if they knowledgeable how. Your router uses these MAC addresses to allocate each machine on your home network an IP address. These MAC and IP addresses of your devices will be handy momentarily; especially when we have to use methods to detect whether or not a person is stealing your Wi-Fi.
If you’re confused by some of this technical oratory, don’t let it be. What matters most is that you know what to search as we get ready to diagnose your Wi-Fi connection.
How to Detect Wireless Piggybacking
Okay, it’s time to begin. Is your wireless network racing slowly? Do you suffer intermittent losses in Internet access and you can’t solve why? Chances are, you’ve already detected a Wi-Fi trespasser and didn’t even recognize it. If you frequently experience these problems, maybe you are experiencing wireless connection issues. However, if you’re abruptly having erratic problems with your Internet performance, simultaneously every day, it represents a red flag that a person is piggybacking off your Wi-Fi connection, and it’s time for you to analyze your Wi-Fi network.
The first and simplest thing you are able to do is check your Wi-Fi connection. Check if it is secured. When you install your router on your computer, you will be given the option of setting-up a wireless encryption protocol (WEP) key. Mainly this is a secured way for you to log in to your own wireless network. If you don’t have one, your wireless is an open access to everyone. That means anyone within range can use your Wi-Fi for free. It is not considered hacking, and it is arguable as to whether it can be called stealing. In any event, if your Wi-Fi does not have an assigned WEP key, you are vulnerable to Wi-Fi cheating or squatting and certainly not discouraging homesteaders.
Even having a WEP key that does not inevitably mean your neighbor has not bypassed it. To determine if he or she’s logging onto your wireless network, you can check your router’s wireless network log. You can do this by clicking Start Menu in Microsoft Windows, double-click My Network Places. Then, double-click View Entire Network. You have Wi-Fi hackers, if you notice that there are other devices or MAC addresses other than what you authorized.
The same technique can be done in checking the status of your Wi-Fi user list. The router’s DHCP client table will tell you so. This DHCP table will list the machines or devices currently connected on your network. If the number surpasses what you have authorized, you have a person stealing your Wi-Fi.
Nobody would like to be taken advantage of. What’s more, you for certain do not need illegal information through your own network. This is the reason why it is essential to be careful and beware.
Preventing Digital Thieves
A WEP key is a fully required for any wireless network; however, secured networks are vulnerable. Though WEP key protection will stop Wi-Fi thieves and may not stop a more compulsive user like your neighbor. In this case, you’ll be able to use a security protocol like Wi-Fi protected access (WPA). This is less attackable but can still be hacked by a determined Wi-Fi thief.