How to check if someone is stealing your bandwidth

by | Jun 21, 2023

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Your WiFi connection is yours, and you shouldn’t have to worry about neighbors, strangers, or hackers tapping into it. To help keep others from accessing your internet connection, you need to understand how to control the devices connected to your WiFi. It’s also essential to know when and how to kick people off your WiFi if you haven’t given them access. Whether you’re working from home, gaming, or streaming your favorite show, you don’t want your connection cut or slowed down by someone intruding on your bandwidth.

Besides impacting your connection, there could be more serious ramifications. Hackers and cybercriminals tapping into your network and conducting illegal activity can put you at risk. Fortunately, there are ways to check if someone is stealing your bandwidth and steps to take to help keep your connection secure and safe.

Monitor your WiFi network for bandwidth issues

Regularly check your network to ensure the only devices logged on are yours. The more devices that are eating up bandwidth, the slower activities like gaming, streaming, and file sharing will be. You can control the number of devices you connect, but what if you discover someone else is tapping into your bandwidth?

From establishing secure passwords to adjusting router settings, there are steps you can take to help protect your bandwidth—and personal data. Let’s explore ways to control the devices connected to your WiFi.

Give others access without giving them control

Person giving users access to Guest WiFi

You don’t want your WiFi connection open to just anyone. But there are times when you’ll need to give guests access to your internet but limit their access. Suppose you’re an Airbnb host or have a smart home with lots of IoT devices friends or family may want to access. In cases like these, creating a guest WiFi network makes sense.

How to create a guest WiFi network

Most modern routers offer a guest mode that you can set up through the router’s settings page. The guest mode provides separate access for invited users through a unique password. Your guests use this password without being able to see yours. If you change the guest password, the devices connected to your specific password won’t be affected, so you won’t need to reconnect them. Another advantage of the guest network is that it doesn’t allow access to devices on your home network, helping to protect your data from cybercriminals.

Take precautionary measures

If someone is using your WiFi to conduct illegal activities, it could spell trouble for you. Your WiFi transmits information for all connected devices through a single internet connection—which is registered to you. So, if someone uses your WiFi to do something illegal (like downloading copyrighted material), it can look like you did it. After all, the internet service provider (ISP) doesn’t know which devices belong to you. Adding extra security measures, such as two-factor authentication, can help to keep your network safe and secure.

Learn how to control devices connected to your WiFi

A standard way to control devices connected to your WiFi is to access the router’s settings. Routers have a settings page you can access via the router’s IP address (four numbers separated by periods, usually starting with 192.168, such as 192.168.1.1). You’ll typically find this number on the back of your router or in the set-up materials that came with it. Some routers have an associated app that allows access to these settings from your mobile device.

If you don’t have an app, enter the router’s IP address into the address bar of the browser on a connected device. Log in to the portal (first-time credentials are usually in the same place where you found the IP address), and you’ll have access to settings that let you manage the devices using your connection.

Know how to tell if someone is using your WiFi

If you suspect strangers or unauthorized parties are using your connection, check your router’s settings interface. Once you log in, look for a list of connected devices, typically found under the “wireless” or “WiFi” tab. You can check what devices are connected to your WiFi at any time (including smart appliances, mobile devices, and gaming consoles). If the list contains more than your own devices, you’ll know someone is using your WiFi without your permission.

Block devices from your WiFi using secure passwords

If you haven’t set up a password for your WiFi network, go to the WiFi settings on your router’s page and create one. Doing this will disconnect any devices currently logged on to your network. You’ll have to sign in again, but it will kick devices off your WiFi that shouldn’t be there. Be sure to change the default password that was assigned to the router when you received it. And remember to create a strong password that potential intruders can’t easily figure out.

If you’ve already set up a password and suspect it’s been compromised, change it immediately. This action will block all devices connected to your WiFi network. You can then reconnect your devices through the new password. To further protect your WiFi connection, select the strongest encryption mode your router offers.

Control access with the Quantum Fiber 360 WiFi app

The Quantum Fiber 360 WiFi app connects you to your router settings. You can set up and control passwords, guest networks, and who has access to your WiFi. Learn more about the 360 WiFi mesh network and download the app through Google Play or the App Store.

Content Disclaimer - All content is for informational purposes only, may require user’s additional research, and is provided “as is” without any warranty, condition of any kind (express or implied), or guarantee of outcome or results. Use of this content is at user’s own risk. All third-party company and product or service names referenced in this article are for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement or affiliation with Quantum Fiber. If Quantum Fiber products and offerings are referenced in the content, they are accurate as of the date of issue. Quantum Fiber services are not available everywhere. Quantum Fiber service usually means 100% fiber-optic network to your location but, in limited circumstances, Quantum Fiber may need to deploy alternative technologies coupled with a non-fiber connection from a certain point (usually the curb) to your location in order to provide the advertised download speeds. ©2023 Q Fiber, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Quantum, Quantum Fiber and Quantum Fiber Internet are trademarks of Quantum Wireless LLC and used under license to Q Fiber, LLC.

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