In this day and age, it’s too risky to leave a Wi-Fi network unprotected. But even a password-protected Wi-Fi network can encounter its fair share of hacking problems. Sometimes, one lucky guess is all it takes for somebody to instantly gain access to your network. In other cases, dedicated folks use complicated software to crack the code on your network.
If you think someone is using your Wi-Fi network, then it’s time to do some investigating. Here are some signs that your Wi-Fi signal may be being used by an unauthorized third-party:
-Slow internet speeds
-Higher than normal usage on your last internet bill
-Strange unexplained service outages or disconnections
Other than that, it’s difficult to determine if someone is scabbing off your Wi-Fi connection. The best way to check if someone is using your Wi-Fi signal is to sign into your router. Today, we’re going to show you how to do that and easily check if anybody else is stealing your precious internet:
Step 1) Login to your router’s admin console. To do this, you’ll need to type your router’s IP address into an internet browser’s URL bar. In most cases, 192.168.0.1 will work perfectly fine, but if that doesn’t work, try typing 192.168.1.1 instead. If that still doesn’t work, look for a list of common router IP addresses here and look for the brand of your router.
Alternatively, you can check your router’s IP address by opening a Run command box and typing in ipconfig. Then, look for the Default Gateway under the Local Area Connection menu that pops up. That’s the IP address of your router.
Step 2) Once you’ve navigated to the admin panel, login using your username and password. If you haven’t set a username or password, then both of these fields may be left blank. Or, common password combinations include:
For a full list of common default usernames and passwords for the top router brands, click here.
Step 3) Once you’ve cracked the code and entered your router’s admin console, the real sleuthing can begin. Every router console is different, but you should see a section on the left hand side of your screen that says ‘Wireless’, ‘Wi-Fi’, ‘Attached devices’, ‘Device List’, or a similar name.
Step 4) After finding the correct section and viewing a list of available devices, you will be able to see all of the devices that are currently connected to your network. Take a peek through this list to try to spot anything you don’t recognize:
If you see a device that you don’t recognize, move onto steps 5 and 6.
Step 5) At this point, most normal people would simply set up a password on their wireless internet and make sure that nobody can access it but someone who knows the password. But move onto step 6 for a more creative solution.
Step 6) When somebody accesses your wireless network through any type of device, you can learn a fair bit of information about that person. You can track their geographic location using a law-enforcement grade application called MoocherHunter, which finds the source of wireless transmissions within an accuracy range of 2m.
This isn’t a normal solution to wireless internet problems. But it’s a good solution if the person scabbing off your internet was using it to perform illegal actions – like downloading copyrighted files or learning how to build bombs.
Whether you choose to simply put a tougher password on your Wi-Fi or you decide on a more ‘take-matters-into-your-own-hands’ type solution, we wish you all the best as you eliminate unwanted guests from your Wi-Fi network.