Who uses my Wifi: How do I know who steals my wireless network?Do you suspect someone is stealing your Wifi? We explain how to find out and what you should do in case they are doing so It is quite likely that right now you are reading this article from one of your devices connected to the wireless network of your home. It is also very likely that the network maintains the same configuration that the technician of your operator put you when you did the installation, you probably even have the password that came by default on the sticker behind the router.
You will think that there is no problem in not having touched any of this, because, after all, the technicians are the ones who understand and know how to correctly configure everything so that you can enjoy your connection in the best possible way. In part it is true, but unfortunately, this does not mean that it is the most recommendable for the security of our network.
If you have arrived here is because you suspect that you may be stealing your Wi-Fi connection or because you want to make sure that no one is connecting to your network and how to have a secure network. In this article, we will try to help you and solve your doubts.
The dangers of being robbed by your WifiThis is the question that we should all ask from the beginning. Surely, you will think that the worst thing that can happen to you if someone steals your connection is that you navigate more slowly because you are giving network to other devices, which is annoying, I do not deny it, but I'm sorry to tell you that it can be more dangerous than you can think .
Each time you connect to a Wi-Fi network you can be a victim of hackers trying to access your device's information through that connection. Obviously, this also depends on the security of the network, but there are few things that are impossible to hack, and a particular Wifi is not one of them. You will have heard of the dangers of connecting to a public open Wi-Fi network, as this is one of the simplest methods of getting access to passwords, messages and virtually any type of information from users that connect to the network you have could create a hacker.
Another reason you may be interested in stealing your password and connecting to your network would be to commit an online crime. In this way, they could (in part) falsify a possible tracing of their criminal activity and seek trouble for you for something you have not done.
How to quickly find out if someone is connected to your networkThere is a very rudimentary method that can be used to know in a simple and quick way if someone uses our network without our permission. I want to make clear that it is not a 100% effective method and that therefore the ideal would be to use some of the methods that we will comment later. It simply consists of disconnecting all your devices, absolutely all. When no equipment is connected to the Internet, the WLAN light should not flash as no data packets are being sent or received.
Obviously, this requires that the person who is connecting to your network is right at that moment connected. This is why it is not a very precise or completely adequate method to turn to.
From here there is a wide variety of applications that can help us to find out if any device that is not ours connects to our network. We have for all types of operating systems. But these programs will only serve you to know who connects to your network at that precise moment, not previously.
Windows: Wireshark is the most complete, also includes a multitude of extra features, we also have alternatives: Wireless Network Watcher, Microsoft Network Monitor or Angry IP Scanner.
MacOS: Wireshark or Angry IP Scanner.
Linux: We have better options like Wireshark and Angry IP Scanner.
Android: We can use Fing, Network Discovery and Net Scan.
iOS: If we have an iPhone or an iPad we will use Fing, IP Network Scanner or iNet.
These applications will show us the IP and MAC address of the devices that are connected in our network. If there are many connected devices at the same time and you do not know how to differentiate them, you can try disconnecting them all and connecting them one by one to identify them.
How to use Angry IP Scanner in Windows, MacOS and LinuxLet's briefly explain how to use some of the tools we've suggested. As we have said, Wireshark is one of the most complete options, but also the most complex. Let's explain the basic operation of Angry IP Scanner when it comes to recognizing which computers are connected to our network. First of all, I warn you that in the event that you are a person without a lot of computer skills, I would recommend you try an application directly like Fing for Android or iOS, since they are usually much easier to use.
After installing Angry IP Scanner we will show several warnings explaining some terms and representations that the program does, such as terminology. After completing this previous step, press "Start" to start the scanning of the network.
How to use Fing on Android and iOSHere we find a much more friendly and simple interface, although obviously, you can do fewer things than with a program like Wireshark. But if we simply want to check at a certain time that only we and our devices are connected to our network, it is the best option and the most comfortable to use.
After installing it, it will do a scan of our network and show us all the connected equipment. As I said in the case of Angry IP Scanner, the IPs that end in .1 and .255 belong to the router (in my case the router is not well configured and therefore stays in .254).
When starting Fing we might get a warning asking if we want to activate the device recognition, if we say that the name appears in more detail of the device that has that IP address. If you did not see the message, you can activate it from the app settings menu.
How to know who has joined our networkWhether we look at the router lights or use an application or program for our device, we have the limitation that we only see the computers that are connected at that time. Therefore, if our neighbor takes advantage to put his PC at dawn by downloading movies in Blu-ray quality, it is complicated that we can catch him. But luckily we have methods to detect it and do not re-steal our Wi-Fi network.
To do this we will have to access the configuration panel of the router, open the Internet browser and write its IP address, which is usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. By entering this into the browser's search bar, we should be shown a web page that asks us for the username and password for the router. The technician who installed the router should have given you this information, if not, you can find the password to access the router on the Internet.
What to do if I get robbed WifiIn the event that we have discovered or have more than considerable suspicions that a neighbor or someone is connecting to our Wi-Fi network without our permission, there are several steps we can take to try to prevent this person from continuing to access our network. I say try to avoid because it really is impossible to prevent someone with great knowledge of the subject and tools can access. Luckily, we can make it so difficult for the process to give up and prefer to go to other networks that have less security.
The first step is to change the network password. This is very important to do if you have never changed the key that came by default since it is not difficult to get the keys that come with the routers with different tools that we can find on the internet. The password is changed on the web of the router to which you access when entering the IP address 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. From here it might also be advisable to change the name of the Wifi network, technically known as SSID.
Very important to make sure that our connections use WPA2-PSK2 encryption if your router supports it and it is advisable to use a password that uses AES encryption. Avoid completely using WEP encryption which is a protocol already obsolete and very easy to break. It is possible that after this we have to change the security settings of our devices, but generally should not give us problems.
Finally, we can make it even harder to access our network by activating a connection filter by the MAC address (the unique identifier of each connected device), so that we only allow our computers to connect to the network. Although this can be more a nuisance than a solution if a friend comes home and asks us for access to our network.
Unfortunately, complete security does not exist, so there will always be a way to bypass any security measures we try to impose. But at least we're going to get the hackers to prefer to go to another neighbor's Wifi before ours since we have done our homework well and we have made it really difficult.