Do you suspect a neighbor is using your internet connection? Your WiFi connection has become too slow, your devices keep disconnecting from the modem, and you suspect that any neighbors have connected to your WiFi?
You know that when someone connects to your modem they can also access shared folders on your network, so data theft can become a real threat. Fortunately, there are ways to detect unknown or unwanted connections to your network and block who is connecting to your WiFi network.
The primary defense against wireless leechers is to protect the modem. Although most telephone operator modems come with long passwords, someone can still log in by simply copying the password printed on the modem, as most people don't change the default password set by their operator.
If, on the other hand, you bought the modem, no one will be able to use the password written on the router unless you change the default password. We will talk about all this below. Let's talk first about how to keep people out of your WiFi.
How to see if someone is connected to my WiFi network?
There are basically two ways to detect all devices connected to the wireless router: check the modem or use a device already connected to the network to scan the entire network. I prefer the latter method because it is less complicated, however, I will talk about both ways.
The first step is to connect to the modem from the web browser. If you don't know how to do this, read my article on how to access the Wi-Fi modem settings.
If you can't remember your password or you've never changed the default password, that's a problem. Either way, I recommend that you reset your modem to factory defaults and start over. It may seem like a difficult task, but trust me it's super simple.
Don't worry if you can't find the data to log in, you can find the default password on the modem itself.
Once you are able to log into your router, you can check which IP addresses have been assigned on the network. Usually, this information is located somewhere on the main page and can be called something like Devices, My Network, IP Address Allocation, Connected Devices, Wireless Status, Connected Devices, DHCP Client Table, etc. It depends on the modem / router you have.
Most new modems will also show you the name of the devices, so it's easy to tell if the device is a phone, tablet, printer, IP camera, NAS, streaming device, laptop, or computer. If you can't figure out which device is associated with an IP address, you can always try pasting that IP into your web browser and see if it loads a web page. Some printers, cameras, etc. they have their own web interfaces that you can connect to via your browser.
If this is all too complicated, another way to find connected clients is to use a smartphone app. For Apple devices, I recommend Net Analyzer Lite and Fing Network Scanner. Fing is also available in the Google Play Store.
These apps are actually better than going straight to the modem, because they can give you more information about the device. Fing can even figure out if you have a console on your network, which is pretty cool.
It should now be easy enough to find a device that shouldn't be connected to your network. If so, what can you do? Read on to find out how to secure your wireless network.
How to disconnect someone from their WiFi router?
The first step to take if you feel your network has been compromised is to completely reset the router as mentioned above or buy a new modem if the current one is old. If someone has been able to connect to your WiFi modem, they may also have compromised the router / modem and may be able to monitor all activity on the network.
The next step is to log into the modem and immediately change the default access for the router. Many people assume that setting a secure WiFi password is all they need, but that's not the case. It is true that in order for someone to access your router, they must first be connected to your wireless network. However, there are many times when you have guests you can't completely trust who need to connect to your wireless network for a short period of time.
How to block devices connected to WiFi
Once connected, if they are hacker-like, they might try to connect to your router and try the default username and password to log in. If you've never changed them, they can now access your modem and take full control of your WiFi network. Then immediately change the login password to the router.
If you can change your username as well, go ahead and do it. admin is the most common username ever on modems, and changing it makes it much more difficult for someone to access your router. If you have a wireless router from an ISP, the username and password for the router's admin interface are also printed directly on the device, so be sure to change them.
You will have to browse through the various settings and configuration pages as these options are located in different places for different operators. After changing your router login information, the next step is to set up wireless security.
WPA o WPA2?
There are three ways to secure the router at this point: choose between WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption, disable SSID broadcast, and enable wireless MAC authentication.
I strongly believe that you really need to use WPA2 encryption with a very long security key / password to be more secure, but some people like to take extra precautions and it might be worth the extra effort if you have very sensitive information stored on your devices.
If possible, you should use only WPA2. Make sure you choose a long password. Note that it doesn't have to be a bunch of random numbers, symbols, or letters to be a strong password.
If you've followed the steps above, resetting your modem, setting up a new password, and using WPA2 as your password, you can be pretty sure whoever was connected to your WiFi modem will now have been killed.
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