Wireless networks are gaining popularity with each passing day and more and more people are getting rid of the old Ethernet cables and getting a wireless network installed. Ethernet cables are considered to be the safest way of communication because no one can illegally hook a cable into your router and steal your network resources, but when it comes to wireless networks this can be easily done if proper measures are not there. Wireless signals are broadcast equally in all directions and anyone who somehow knows the password of your wireless network can easily access the Internet and your network without you even knowing the same. In this post I will let you know how to identify if someone is accessing your home wireless network and how to make it secure again.
Every router has a few LEDs on its front. One of these LEDs is for the Internet. This light stays solid if Internet is not in use and it flashes if information is going or coming from the Internet. The easiest and quickest way to check if someone is connected to your router or not, is to check the status of Internet LED on the router after turning all your home computers off. If it is flashing then somebody is definitely connected to your router and is using your resources.
We mostly name our computers by our own name so if the person who is illegally using your network has also named his computer as his name then you can even come to know about the same. Let us see how.
Step 1: Open the Router console by typing ‘http://<IP of your default gateway>’. This will take you to the router set-up page also known as router console.
Step 2: Enter the username and the password and enter into the console.
Step 3: Go to the Status section of the router. It may be named as something else in different routers but you need to look for it. Here in the status window router displays all the devices which are currently connected to the router. You obviously will identify your home devices and computers and can easily make out the one which is not in your house.
Step 4: This list displays the IP address, MAC address and even the computer name which is connected to the router. So this way you can come to know about the name of the computer or person who lives nearby and is illegally using your computer.
Fix the problem
Once you know that someone is using your network then you can take measures to stop the same. First would be to change the security key and make it hard to guess. This will at once disconnect the unauthorized computer and he will not be able to connect again until he knows the new password. Second best thing will be to note down the MAC address from the status screen of the router and block the MAC address completely in the router. This ways even if the person knows the security password, still he would not be able to connect to your network.