Notice your Wi-Fi is slowing down? Or are you generally worried about neighbors or potential hackers getting into your network to steal your internet?
Even if your neighbor is just “borrowing” your Wi-Fi, having someone on your network can be potentially dangerous to you and your privacy. Read how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and what to do about it.
Someone is stealing your Wi-Fi.
What are the dangers of having your internet connection stolen?
No matter how benign it may seem to someone else to be on your Wi-Fi network, it’s not good.
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Your connection gets slower for each added device. If someone joins your Wi-Fi network and uses it for streaming, gaming, or anything else that uses a lot of data, your connection will undoubtedly slow down even more.
They can also access files stored on your devices that are connected to that Wi-Fi, and more experienced hackers can also access devices on the network. This means that the information you entered is no longer secure or private.
You also lose the Wi-Fi connection you pay good money for if someone else steals that connection.
How to check if someone is on your Wi-Fi?
To avoid all the above problems, 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 this with more devices, but after following these steps, you may have to re-login to the Wi-Fi network, so the more devices you connect, the longer it may take.
1) Turn off your devices and check the router
First, you can turn off all Wi-Fi connected devices (like Alexa).
Then turn off Wi-Fi on others, such as your phone, tablet, and computer, so you don’t connect to the Internet from the outlet.
Then check your router to see if any activity is happening. If you still notice that there are flashing lights, someone is probably on your network.
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2) Login to your router and check the activity
You can access your network app or online IP address to check what devices are connected. If you have a physical router, follow the steps on the back or bottom of it to get online, then view the devices on your network. If you see any devices you don’t recognize, or in different areas than you and your devices, 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 the 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 both iOS and Android devices.
The app will scan your Wi-Fi network and show you the devices that share it.
How to remove strangers from your Wi-Fi network
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So, you’ve used any of the above methods and now you want to remove a stranger from your Wi-Fi. How do you do it?
1) Block/ban/delete unknown users
By following the steps above, you should be able to block, ban, or at least delete any unknown device or user on your Wi-Fi network.
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2) Change your router name/password
You should never have an open Wi-Fi network, so make sure you choose a strong Wi-Fi name and password so that no one can easily guess the 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.
When you change your Wi-Fi name and password, you’ll have to reconnect all your devices, so someone else without this new login shouldn’t be able to easily log in.
3) Update your router
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Buying the right router can make a difference in your overall digital security. We’ve rated our top secure router picks. Go to CyberGuy.com and search for “Top 5 Routers for Best Security”. They all have at least WPA2 access, which is the minimum level of protection you want when choosing a router.
For more security tips, be sure to subscribe to the CyberGuy Report Newsletter at CyberGuy.com/Newsletter.