If you’re internet connection is crawling a snail-like pace, don’t blame it on your internet service provider just yet. Check first to see if there are any unauthorized people enjoying free access on your network. Keep in mind that security is necessary to prevent people from gaining access to your network or using your connection to perform any illegal activities.
Hence, word to the wise would be to make sure that your network is secure. So, how exactly would you know if someone is using your wifi? Make sure to keep these tips in mind.
Check all devices connecting to your router.
First up, log in the administrative console of your router. Key in the IP address into the address bar of the browser. Depending on the type of router you have, this is usually 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. If you don’t have any idea of its default address, go to command prompt and enter ipconfig. You will find the address next to Default Gateway under Local Area Connection.
If you’re using a Mac computer, the default address can be accessed through Network under System Preferences listed beside “Router:” for Ethernet users. If you’re employing Wi-Fi, click “Advanced” then go to the tab “TCP/IP.” Point your browser to the address and key in your login details.
Now that you’re already inside the administrative console of your router, you need to find a section that relates to wireless status or connected devices. If what you have is a DIR-665 from D-Link, you can find this under Status>Wireless. If you’re employing a Linksys router, it’s under DHCP Clients Table. For Netgear, it’s “Attached Devices” and for Tomato firmware, it’s under “Device List.”
You will see a table containing details of your IP, MAC address and other device details that are presently connected to your router. Check these details and if you see anything unfamiliar, chances are, you have an intruder making use of your network.
Act on intruders.
Actually, whether you see any intruder or not, the ideal thing to do is to set up a really strong password employing WPA or WP2. Refrain from using WEP because this is quite easy to hack. Other means would be to avoid advertising your network’s name to any Wifi device nearby, which you can do by switching the SSID broadcast off. While this can’t exactly stop intrusion, setting up a filter for devices that are both allowed and blocked can slow any intruder down.
If you wish to track down unauthorized users, you can pinpoint their physical location by means of the MoocherHunter tool. With this, you need to boot your laptop by burning a live CD and literally walk around to track down any intruders. The said tool can detect traffic that has been sent across a network and accurately locate its source within two meters.
The MoocherHunt tool is especially useful if the people using your network are doing so for any illegal or illicit purpose. The details it can supply would come in handy for authorities to track them down.