You may notice that your Internet slows down to a crawl whenever your next door neighbor comes home from work. It could be a coincidence and simply the result of a greater demand being placed on the network, but it could also be the result of your neighbor gaining access to your Internet connection and using up your bandwidth. Fortunately, there are ways to identify if this is the case.
Check Your Modem Lights
Turn all of the computers in your home off and to look at the lights on your modem. If the lights are solid, this would indicate that no one is currently accessing your router. However, if one of the lights is blinking, someone may still be accessing your modem, indicating that someone is stealing your Internet.
Find Out Your IP Address
The first step is to know what your IP address is so that you can differentiate it from any other IP addresses trying to access your network. Simply run the “Run” program and type “ipconfig.” Your IP will start with IPv4 and will be followed with a string of numbers.
Access Your Router
Sometimes, you can check your router’s log depending on the type of router you own. Some routers also come with software that makes it easier for you to check your log. You can then see who is logging onto your computer. You can access the router by typing in the IP address of your router. If you aren’t sure what this is, this information may have been provided with your modem. Also, when you typed in “ipconfig”, the IP will be listed under “Default Gateway.” Your router will come with a default username and password you must enter.
There is usually a tab that reads “attached devices.” Look through the list of IP addresses to determine if any do not match your IP address. If so, there is someone else using your Wi-Fi. Then, you can setup a new WEP key so the user will no longer have the password to login to your computer. Your router will reboot and the other user will then be kicked off of your router.
Turn Off Broadcasting
To make it even harder for other users to access your modem, turn off broadcasting. This is a setting that is found on the router setting’s page. Make sure that the checkbox “Enable SSID Broadcast” is not checked. Then, you’ll have faster Internet speed because no one will be stealing your Internet.
For further assistance, contact a local internet service provider, such as Solarus.