General Question

lendwill's avatar

Who is stealing my wireless internet?

Asked by lendwill (187points) April 30th, 2009

I have a wireless router that gives my macbook internet but there is no password on it. My neighbors have connected to my internet before, and i want to stop it from happening now. how do I see who is doing it and make a password that only I know?

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20 Answers

ben's avatar

To both see who’s using your internet connection and add a password, you’ll need to log into your router. It’s relatively simple to do, but it’s different depending on what kind of router you have. It’s also straightforward to setup a password.

What’s the brand/model number of your router?

eponymoushipster's avatar

You need to go into your router’s control settings. Check your manuals, – you can probably access it from your browser. Turn on WEP, and provide a passkey.

Another thing, which i do: turn off the SSID radio. that way, it doesn’t transmit the name of your network. You need to know the name, of course.

But if no one can see that a network’s there, and it’s passworded to boot, it’s pretty hidden. Of course, someone with black hat skills may be able to overcome this, but still, it’s going to keep out 99% of people.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Finally you can enable MAC filtering so only specific devices can access the internet through your router.

_bob's avatar

Some sleazy.


lendwill's avatar

i have a linksys wrt54g v5 wireless broadband router

jrpowell's avatar

Ahh. In you browser put into the address bar. It should look like this. Go to that page.

You will be prompted for a username and password. Username is blank and the password is admin

From there it should be kind of obvious how to add a password. Click on security.

Edit :: I am assuming you never changed the default user name and password.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

This is a bad situation. Yes, no security makes it easy for you to connect. Just as easy for anyone within broadcast range to connect as well.

Step 1. Set up wireless security immediately. Set up the highest encryption level possible on that router. Here is a link to your product manual:
Select version 5.0.
The manual will instruct you on how to set this up.

Do this tonight.

Step 2. Do not broadcast your SSID. You know what your wireless network name is. No one outside your home needs to know. This is also a setting on your router.

Your personal data is too precious to leave out there unprotected. Plus, you pay good money for your bandwidth. Protect your investment.

Good luck.

drClaw's avatar

I would just put cameras in all my neighbors apartments/houses, and every time they get on the computer go and knock on their door then run away. Better yet just steal all computers in 100ft radius of your home, but still put the cameras in your neighbors houses…

basp's avatar

Does it negatively impact the use of one’s computer if someone taps into their router? I’m not a computer geek and have no idea how these things work…so, I apologize if my question is stupid.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@basp It will affect your network speed. If someone is leeching off your connection, they are effectively stealing from you. It also gives them a link into your network.

jrpowell's avatar

@basp :: I keep my network open. Usually nothing bad will happen if someone uses it to check their e-mail. If someone uses bittorrent then it will hurt my browsing. Security wise, the people using my connection are less secure then I am. I’m not really concerned. And I get 4 open networks on my iPod Touch when I sit on my porch.

But certainly change the router username and password. But the hippie in me keeps the network open.

basp's avatar

Well, I have two routers and I can’t figure out how to hook either of them up. I am also connected to the internet through the plug in the wall, but, I would like the wireless for my iphone and laptop.
I know both the routers are good, I bought them brand new. I think I need to find someone who knows more about this to help me.
thanks for your answers. I appreciate the information.

RedPowerLady's avatar

How do you know that someone is stealing your internet? I’m not asking because I think your wrong but because I’ve always wondered this. How do people know if someone is using their internet?

jrpowell's avatar

@RedPowerLady :: My router will list every webpage someone visits. That is the easiest way to figure it out. It takes seconds to see what people are doing. That kinda of goes back to my earlier statement. Using my Internet makes you more vulnerable than me. If I cared I could packet sniff on everyone that uses my internet connection. But as long long as people use it for good I don’t care.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@johnpowell So if people use your internet does it affect you? Like slow down your connection or make you less “safe”?

Also is there a way to know w/out checking your router?

Sorry for all the questions but I have been really wanting to know these things for quite awhile. If you don’t know that’s cool too :)

Bagardbilla's avatar

Im with @johnpowell on this… Share the bandwidth!

lendwill's avatar

i use torrents all the time an it is a great inconvenience to have them stealing my internet and slowing my connection. it also causes lag when i play xbox live. thanks for the help

iquanyin's avatar

personally, i never close my wifi off. i’m not especially worrried and have had no problems, and i enjoy giving people things on all levels. i remember in oahu, mayor hanneman had a deal with a local ISP that gave the whole town free wifi. it was wonderful! i was extremely broke in hawaii, and wouldn’t have had internet (at home) any other way.

maybe it’s totally off the wall, but i could easily see wifi companies intoning dire warnings of bad things that could happen if someone used your wifi in some nefarious way—warnings that benefit wifi companies. after all, more ppl sharing means less revenue for comcast, right? sure, there could be a criminal ring next door using my wifi and so on. but i’ve yet to meet a single person who’s had a single problem from leaving their connection open. and i meet a lot of people. the whole chinatown population hasn’t given any problem (and if you’ve ever lived there, you’ll know that if any place would be likely to cause certain troubles it would be there, lol! it’s like the wild west in certain respects.) so that’s my two cents/

tanyacunningham's avatar

how canI stop my neighbour from stealing my internet with his laptop?

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