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How to Kick People Off Your WiFi Network

Even though the access to WiFi networks has become ubiquitous over the years, many people still wonder how to block WiFi users from accessing private networks they are not authorized to access.
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How Can I Indirectly Detect Who Is Using My WiFi?
What Are the Possible Consequences for Someone Who Is on My WiFi?
How to Check Who Is on My WiFi?
How Can I See What Devices Are Within the Range of My WiFi?
FAQ

How Can I Indirectly Detect Who Is Using My WiFi?

How to kick someone off your WiFi so you can enjoy your Internet connection to its maximum capacity and never deal with slowdowns and connection drops ever again? Our secret weapon, our mighty WiFi user blocker, won’t be any expensive hardware device nor software application. Instead, we will rely solely on the capabilities that are already present in your router, although we will recommend a few useful software tools.

There are many signs that can tell you that someone who shouldn’t is using your WiFi:

  • Poor speeds: If your Internet speeds are mediocre even though you are not downloading any files or streaming high-definition video content, the chances are that someone who isn’t you is doing just that on your expense. This is especially true if you experience the slowdowns only at certain times of the day, such as in the evening, after your neighbor has returned home from work.
  • High latency: Latency is the time it takes for a message to travel from a user’s computer to an Internet server. The symptoms of high latency are most noticeable in real-time applications, such as Skype or online games. For example, you might send a message only to see it reach your conversation partner with a noticeable delay. Or you might click on the fire button in a game and miss because your opponent has already moved elsewhere.
  • Router reboots: To some extent, it’s perfectly normal for routers to reboot from time to time. A reboot might be triggered by the router itself for maintenance purposes, or it might be triggered by a software update pushed by the router’s manufacturer. But if your router reboots all the time, something suspicious is going on. Someone might be trying to access your WiFi network using brute force, and you should know how to block WiFi users to prevent this from happening.
  • Lack of encryption: If, for some reason, your WiFi network isn’t encrypted using either the WPA or the WPA2 security protocol, then you can be sure that someone either is or recently has been on your WiFi network. To this day, countless older routers use the WEP security protocol, which has been considered obsolete for a long time. If you own such a router, get rid of it right now otherwise our advice how to kick people off your WiFi won’t actually help you in any meaningful way.

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What Are the Possible Consequences for Someone Who Is on My WiFi?

When an unauthorized user accesses a computer network, he or she might be committing a real crime, depending on which legal code the unauthorized user falls under. For example, unauthorized access, modification, or impairment of data held in a computer system is a federal offence under Australia’s Criminal Code Act 1995.

In Japan, accessing a wireless LAN network without authorization is not a crime, even if the network is protected with a password. In the United States, there are various federal and state laws addressing the issue of unauthorized access to wireless networks, with some laws requiring monetary damages and others criminalizing the mere unauthorized access of a network.

Most people who access WiFi networks without authorization don’t realize that they could be committing a crime, so a simple warning is often enough to scare away most intruders. If you live in an apartment building, you could, for example, post a sign saying, “I know about the person who is connected to my network, and I also know that WiFi stealing is a punishable crime”.

How to Check Who Is on My WiFi?

If you want to block WiFi users, software solutions are not needed because your router most likely already comes with blocking capabilities built-in.

First of all, you need to find out what your router’s gateway IP address is and type the address into your browser. Cisco and Linksys routers have a default address of 192.168.1.1, but the address varies from manufacturers to manufacturer. Look at the back of your router and, if it isn’t there, look for it online.

Upon entering your router’s gateway IP address into your browser, you will be taken to the router’s admin interface and prompted to enter the admin username and password. In most cases, both the username and password are “admin”.

Next, use the navigation menu to display a list of all attached devices. You should see a name and MAC address of each connected device. If you spot a device that looks like it shouldn’t be on the list, you’ve most likely spotted a WiFi thief. You can either disconnect the unauthorized device or block the device’s MAC address altogether to prevent the device from connecting to your network in the future.

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How Can I See What Devices Are Within the Range of My WiFi?

NetSpot — the best free WiFi analyzer for Windows and Mac computers

Now that you know how to see who is on your WiFi, you might be wondering how to tell who is within the range of your WiFi network. You can measure how far your network reaches with the help of a professional app for wireless site surveys and WiFi analysis, such as NetSpot, which is widely considered to be the best free WiFi analyzer for Windows and Mac computers.

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With NetSpot, you can easily create a WiFi signal strength heatmap to see how far from your router it is still possible to connect, and NetSpot can also highlight signal weak spots, helping you optimize your network for maximum performance.

WiFi signal strength heatmap

To download NetSpot and explore all of its features, visit its official website and try it for free.

FAQ

How Can I Indirectly Detect Who Is Using My WiFi?

There are some discreet ways to tell that someone unauthorized has connected to your wireless network:

  • Poor speed is usually a sign that someone is taking advantage of your Internet connection and while you are trying to download some larger files — they are too.
  • High latency is usually most noticeable when you are trying to Skype with someone or play online games — the responses come very slowly from the server.
  • Router reboot is a normal thing, when it only happens occasionally for the purpose of updates, but if it happens all the time, it might be because someone is using a brute-force attack to hack your WiFi password.
  • WiFi encryption, or to be more specific — the lack of one. If all of a sudden your WiFi is not protected by one of the WPA protocols, then it might mean someone has been on your WiFi network.

What Are the Possible Consequences for Someone Who Is on My WiFi?

Everyone generally agrees that unauthorized access to a computer network is illegal. For example, piggybacking is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor in the state of New York. In Australia it is a federal offence to access a network without authorization, as well as to modify or impair data while on it. Some countries, however, do not consider it an offence to access a wireless network without permission.

While there seems to be not enough unity and clarity in the laws, it is highly recommended not to use a WiFi connection without the owner’s permission.

How to Check Who Is on My WiFi?

If you don't know it yet, figure out what your router's gateway IP address is, and then type in your web browser search box. Look for the IP on the back panel of your router or look it up online.

In the router's web interface enter the administrator login and password, which you can look up in the router's documentation, if you haven't changed the manufacturer's defaults. View the list of attached devices - you should see the name and MAC address for each one connected. The devices that don't look like anything familiar to you, are probably there without any authorization.

How Can I See What Devices Are Within the Range of My WiFi?

You can tell which devices are in the range of your WiFi network by measuring how far your network's signal extends. Use a professional WiFi analysis tool like NetSpot to see how far and how well your wireless network reaches and determine which devices might need to be moved closer in order to get a better signal.

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