How do I know my neighbors' WiFi?

How to find out if someone is stealing your WiFi

From TECHBOOK | March 22, 2020, 10:30 p.m.

Has your WiFi not been running smoothly lately or has it slowed down? Then you should definitely check why this is. Perhaps unauthorized persons have hacked into your internet. TECHBOOK shows how you can check that.

If strangers have gained access to your WLAN, it can be dangerous for you. The intruder has access to all your online traffic and can use your account for illegal activities.

Check activity on the router

The easiest way to find out which devices are registered on your network is to check the router. If this is active, then several small lamps light up, which indicate all network connections.

Disconnect all wireless devices that are connected to the Internet (e.g. smartphone, TV, consoles). If all are switched off, then there should actually no longer be any light on the router. If something still lights up, you have either forgotten a device or someone else is currently using your WLAN.

Check device list

Open the router configuration in your browser. If you do not know the exact address, you should refer to the manual for your device. Normally you can also reach the router via the address 192.168.2.1.

After you have entered your device password, the configuration opens. The device list shows who is connected to the WLAN. In order to identify each of your devices, the best thing to do is to turn off all but one device and then correctly name this one active device. You can repeat this step for all devices known to you. If a device appears at the end of the list that you cannot identify, your WLAN is being used by someone else.

Change WiFi password

If you want to be on the safe side, you should not only check the router's device list, but also adjust the security settings. To do this, go to the router's management console.

To change the security settings, you first need to know your IP address. In the input window (Win + R then CTRL) type the word "ipconfig" and then copy the "Default Gateway" IP address. With a Mac you have to go to the network settings and copy the IP address, this is listed directly next to "Router".

Now enter the IP address in a browser window, then the router configuration opens. If the default settings have not yet been changed, you will find the access data in the documents of your Internet provider. Some routers also have the password on the bottom of the device or in the manual.

Now change the login data so that all devices have to dial into the WLAN again. This means that unwanted devices no longer have access to your WLAN. Tip: Actually, for security reasons, the access data should always be renewed immediately after installation with a password that you have specified.

Also interesting: Can I use someone else's WLAN without being asked?

Network monitoring software

There are various apps that can provide more information about WiFi and possible hackers. The free Android app “Fing - Network Tools” can analyze networks in the area. You get data such as the IP address, the Internet speed and which devices are connected to the network.

Do you want to know exactly who hacked into your WLAN? Then the MoocherHunter tool could be just the thing for you. The software should track hackers and localize them up to two meters, reports "Giga.de".

This is what you should do if someone steals your WiFi!

Once identified, the way is not far to ban the possible attacker from the WLAN. As a first step, you can block the hacker's devices in the device list and put them on the so-called "blacklist".

In addition, you should definitely change the WLAN password to prevent further use by the attacker. You should also take this opportunity to check whether you are using the latest WLAN encryption. In the router you can usually choose between WPA, WPA2 and WPA3. Set at least WPA2 in this menu - older encryption standards are now considered unsafe.

How to increase your WiFi range

No one hundred percent security

Despite all security precautions, there is no one hundred percent security against hacker attacks. Users can improve their protection against misuse of Internet and telephone connections, data spying and other attacks, but at least with small changes.

One possibility, for example, is to update the firmware regularly. The operating software of the router is called firmware. Firmware updates bring new functions, but above all they also plug security gaps. Therefore you should - if possible - activate automatic updates in the router menu or otherwise keep an eye out for updates on the manufacturer's website.

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