Securing your Wi-Fi network and making sure there are no intruders at all times isn’t as easy as it may sounds, but it’s not impossible either if you know the right steps.
Having unwanted people in your network isn’t only bad for internet speeds, but it is also a really bad thing to happen to you if you care about security at all.
Intruders aren’t very hard to kick out, but the hard part remains in detecting them and knowing who should and shouldn’t be on your network.
When you have a few too many devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, it could really mess with your internet quality, and you will end up with a far slower internet speed than the one you paid off.
How To Stop Someone From Using My WiFi Connection
Not only that, depending on your intruder’s use of the Wi-Fi connection, they may be the reason you have to deal with some unwanted malware, which will make your private data vulnerable to hacking.
If that’s not enough for you to not want them, if intruders ever visit some inappropriate websites, you may or may not find yourself dealing with the authorities.
How to Find Who’s Connected to Your Wi-Fi Network
The first thing you need to do is log into your router’s web interface settings, look for DHCP settings, and under “attached devices”, you should be able to see all the devices that are connected to your network.
The name of the settings and sections may be slightly different depending on which router you’re using.
After that, all you have to do is look through the list and identify all the devices that aren’t yours or you family members’.
The best way to find out if you have intruders in your network is by counting how many Wi-Fi enabled devices you have in your house. If the list you see in your router’s setting is larger than that number, this means that you’ve got an intruder in there.
Depending on which router you’re using, you may be able to see the name of the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network, which should make identifying devices very easy.
If not, then the list should still show the IP address and MAC address of the devices connected to it. By using that, you can check the MAC addresses on all your devices (they all have a unique address), and see which ones on the list that aren’t yours.
How to Secure Your Wi-Fi
The first thing you’re going to have to do in this case is to simply change your Wi-Fi password.
Right after you log in using the new password, you can be sure that all the freeloaders are out, but this doesn’t mean they’ll stay out forever, which is why it is very important that you change your password and network name (SSID) very often.
Another thing is that you should also not use easy, simple passwords, or ones that include information about yourself since those are easy to crack.
Another thing you can do is make your Wi-Fi network invisible.
This means that it would no longer show up when people look for it using their devices, instead, they have to manually enter its SSID and password, and hope that a network with that name and password exists.
How to Take Security Up a Notch
If you want to take your online security to the next level, then here is exactly what you need to be doing!
As we mentioned earlier, each device has a unique MAC address, and with that piece of information, there are a few things you can do.
First, you can make up a list of all the devices’ MAC addresses, and only allow those devices to access the Wi-Fi network, this can easily be done through your router’s settings.
Since each router’s settings is different, we advise you look this up on your manual.
In my TP-Link router’s settings, I was able to find this under “Interface Setup” and then “Wireless”.
Another option you could go for is finding the unwanted devices and banning them. This option is usually found under the same tab and you can ban up to 8 unique MAC addresses.
You may wonder what does banning them mean. Well, if you were to be banned from a router’s network, it would mean that even if you enter the right password, the router will not let you in. Your device will try to connect but it will never happen.
If this isn’t enough for you then there’s more. Routers usually have the option to limit the number of devices connected to it at any given time. You can set this number to the number of devices you have in your household, when they are all connected to the network, the router will not allow any new device to connect.
Finally, you should disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup). This is because routers that have this option are known for being easily hackable, and hackers usually try to hack through this option first, which is why it is best if you disable it altogether (when is the last time you used it anyway).
It’s not very difficult to protect yourself against freeloaders, but it is also very easy for people to take advantage of security vulnerabilities, which is why it always recommended you take just 1 extra step in protecting yourself against potential threats.
We hope that this article was beneficial for you and that you’ve found what you were looking for, and we hope you stay safe during all your time online!