General Question

j0ey's avatar

Do you know how to find out if someone else is using your wireless internet? And how to stop them if they are?

Asked by j0ey (2419 points ) April 11th, 2010

My house mates and I have an “unlimited download” internet plan. For 2 weeks of every month, our cable internet is about as fast as my parents dial-up, sometimes even worse. And we don’t download anything really anyway, just Uni stuff. But it takes nearly 5 min for my email inbox to load, and watching anything on you tube is impossible.

My house mate’s boyfriend came over and connected to our internet on his lap top without entering a password.

When I looked into the security settings for our network it was on no authentication (open).

Does this mean all our neighbors could be using our internet? Which security setting should I choose to stop them from using it? And do I just do that on my computer? Or do I have to do something to my wireless router?

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16 Answers

Mulot's avatar

Apparently your are using a Wifi router, so yes, in this case you have to secure your connection. For this you have to connect on your router and setup a WPA key. In theory, most of the routers can be accessible through your web browser under this address: http://192.168.0.1 or maybe http://192.168.1.1

This should appear on your router documentation. Then you have to auth yourself on it usually with the factory login and pass something like “admin” “admin”. Then choose another password for admin only you will know. Add the WPA key (WEP is really not secure at all). After this you’ll have to enter the WPA key in the Wifi connection setting of your laptop, and so do your mates. Now your Wireless should be used by only you and not the whole neighborhood.

If it’s not working check the manual of your device with the brand and model of your router.

Edit: Here is a little “How to” about basic steps if you are a little host, don’t know if it’ll help you but… How to

TexasDude's avatar

Secure your network or don’t broadcast your SSID.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Ooops,Sorry about that but with the type of Porn I download,I could not have it associated with my IP adress !!!

Mulot's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard : Not broadcasting the SSID (The wireless network name) can work if your neighbors are not geeks, the problem is it’s really easy to scan incoming packets with a lot of software and then detect the SSID name and thus connect. To be sure and even more secure, secure your network with WPA, AND hide your SSID name. Even more you can add a mapping with IP and MAC addresses.

j0ey's avatar

ok, the problem is that I bought this router off a friend a while ago, and he didnt give me a box or anything with it…....I might try and give d-link a call tomorrow….

I dont know what username or password to enter in when I get to that address.

Thanks for your help @Mulot….I wish i was more computer savvy..

Mulot's avatar

@j0ey : Have your tried “admin” “admin” ? Or the reset to factory button on the router ? It should reset it with “admin” “admin”. What is the brand and model of your router ?

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@j0ey: If you call one of these companies for technical support it may take a lot of time. Instead look on the Internet to find the default username and password for your router quickly and easily (might or might not be admin/admin). You may have to use the reset button on the router with a paperclip as @Mulot says if the default does not work.

HOWEVER: You should consider still allowing others to use your Internet and just banning the MAC address of whoever is abusing it. You can easily determine this if your router has traffic stats or otherwise ban the connected users one at a time until the speed increases and then unban all but that user.

Mulot's avatar

Yep calling D-Link will result of a loss of time and money. Just google your model name and you’ll find the .pdf documentation on D-Link website.

Yes for the “admin” it was just a guess because it can be anything, but most of time with TP-Link it’s this.

@malevolentbutticklish : Abusing is not a very clear definition, also about a legal level, and illegal downloading. Take care of this point, even if you are not in the US, I don’t know Australia point of view about this.

jrpowell's avatar

You are in austraila. Unlimited means it is fast until you hit your transfer limit. Then it (ISP) drops yor speed down to dial up. That is why it works fine and then sucks. Your ISP should have a page to visit to see if you exceed your transfer.

The love of my life is in Tasmania and her cap is 12 Gigs before her speed gets dropped to damn near zero. I assume it is similar in AU. U do 12 Gigs in 3 days.

thriftymaid's avatar

You handle this in your router settings. You can use security, not broadcast SSID, or specify the exact computers allowed to use the network. You can also make the network password protected.

jrpowell's avatar

^^ Sorry that last response was composed on a iPod Touch. I suck at typing on it.

dpworkin's avatar

To see who is using your wi-fi, look at the status page or your router setup, and it will list the IP and MAC addresses of each client.

XOIIO's avatar

Go into your computer’s wireless manager, and you should be able to take a look at thw whole network, but you may need to secure it.

Oh yeah, just secure the damn network with a password.

jerv's avatar

I went into my D-link router at http://192.168.0.1/, changed the admin name/password (duh!), disabled SSID broadcast, set up WPA2, and then turned on MAC filtering. It may not be Fort Knox, but it’s more hassle than any other access point in the neighborhood and most crackers are actually lazy skript kiddies.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Change your wifi password if you think someone is stealing it.

superjuicebox's avatar

You can set up a wep or wpa security key, but that is easily broken. The best way to keep others off of your network would be to use mac address filtering ( where your network has a set list of computers to allow ) or a white list. To do this you will either have to login to your router (by finding its i.p, you can do this in the command prompt just type “ip config /all) then find mac address filtering. The easier way would be to download network magic and it will automatically do whatever you want it to( You can set the filtering, make wep keys, make wpa keys, and you can even see if anyone else is on the network)

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