How can I determine whether my Wireless is being leeched?

Kevin L November 29, 2012
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My neighbor has a B.S. in IT or a related field. He admitted to using software to bypass a neighbor’s WiFi password and leeching their service. Their ISP is slow while mine is blazing fast. My WiFi is protected by password with 128-bit encryption. I have an older Linksys WRT54GS with version 1.X software.

I want to know if there is any way to determine if my neighbor is leeching my internet. I hate to know someone is getting for free, what I have payed for!

I have a MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion, an HP running Windows Vista, a Brother printer, HTC Inspire, and an iPhone on my network. I do not see a network IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.105) that I do not own. Any help is appreciated.

  1. Anish Parameshwaran
    February 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    One possible solution is to buy a new router, altogether. Preferably one with a built in software for restricting internet access to only specified MAC addresses.

  2. CKBolin1
    January 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Try to download "Wireless Network Watcher" from C-Net's website. That program has proven itself to be reliable for me. It's easy to install and is pretty quick about retrieving info on your network.

  3. Jose Paolo Gonzales Otico
    December 17, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Log into your router and check your DHCP leases. Easiest solution might just be to set up a restriction block and a password to your wireless.

  4. Rohit Jhawer
    December 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The simplest way is to login to your router then check for attacked devices, If you find any unknown devices then its better to enhance your protection and changing your WiFi password and enable MAC protection.

  5. Vishal Srivastava
    December 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Only when you are armed with the knowledge of how someone can crack your WIFI, you can stop them.
    MUO explains here how easy it is to crack your WIFI-
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-easy-is-it-to-crack-a-wifi-network-makeuseof-explains/
    Here is a link to help you find out what everyone is seeing-
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/dirty-rotten-thieves-stealing-wifi-find-3-apps/
    If there are sites which you think no one on your network has visited, chances are someone is leeching it.
    Here is a guide to check if someone is leeching in-
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/check-stealing-wifi/
    If you find someone leeching, the best method would be to talk over with them the situation and stop them. However, if they don't stop, you should look at this-
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/hide-wifi-network-prevent-detected/

  6. Adriel Tan
    December 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Use MAC filtering on your router, and use WPA2 for security. Please do not use WEP as it can be cracked in seconds. Disabling WPS is also a good idea.

  7. ha14
    December 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    use MAC filtering. Each network adapter is assigned a MAC address. Filtering to only allow your MAC addresses to access your network, it will prevent other devices from accessing your network. Although it can be spoofed but can be a step for more protection.

  8. Sashi Peiris
    December 4, 2012 at 3:58 am

    You should type whta's my ip into google. Then copy the bold ip that is displayed in to the address bar. That should take you to your router's configuration page. If you browse around you should be able to see the computers on your network

  9. Douglas Mutay
    December 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Use a network monitoring tool.

  10. Rakesh Mishra
    December 2, 2012 at 7:37 am
  11. Anonymous
    December 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

    if u have an DHCP Clients List on wireless router, u can see its there, n if u have an Wireless MAC Filtering, u can also filter unrecognize mac address to completely block their access.. LOL.

  12. Usman Mubashir
    November 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    Check your wireless statistics from router homepage (192.168.1.1 thingy) and you will be able to see how many devices are connected onto your router.

  13. Muo TechGuy
    November 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    If it's 128-bit WEP encryption, he undoubtedly cracked it months ago, because that'd ridiculously easy to crack. You could switch to WPA2, but thats crackable as well if you have WPS enabled and on some routers it actually can't be disabled. You could setup a MAC address filter which prevent any devices except those specified from joining, but thats easily spoofable too.

    to figure out if something is on the network, log in to your routers interface and find something for wifi -> connected clients. Confirm each one.

    Really though, you can't prevent him from joining the network if he's determined.

    Switch to wired!

  14. Abba Jee
    November 30, 2012 at 10:22 am
  15. Sri Vamsy Gurram
    November 30, 2012 at 9:11 am

    There is a way you can block all untrusted MAC addresses on Router config page. It should be accessible @ http://192.168.2.1/ for belkin. Check your routers documentation to see your configuration page.

    • Muo TechGuy
      November 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      And there is also a way you can spoof your MAC address in one command, which makes MAC filtering ineffective.

  16. Jan Fritsch
    November 30, 2012 at 8:41 am

    The easiest method usually is to look into your routers interface and take a look at the DHCP leases. This will show you which devices are currently or have recently been connected to your network.

  17. Junil Maharjan
    November 30, 2012 at 4:43 am

    You can get in your router through your browser (which i hope you know how). Then check the users who are logged into the network through the router. If there are are computers or ip addresses that you are certain that are not yours then you have a leecher. Keep changing your net password and use passwords with alphabets, numbers and other symbols like @, #, !, etc.

    • Usman Mubashir
      November 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm

      also you can note down the IP of the unknown devices and permanently block that IP from connecting

      • Anonymous
        December 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

        also their mac address..

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