Are the Neighbors Stealing Your Wifi?
You have worked hard to set up your wireless network, carefully connecting the devices, setting a strong password and moving the equipment to the perfect location. Now that your WiFi network is in place, you can use your tablet, smartphone, laptop and connected devices anywhere in your home, but you need to be vigilant and watch out for freeloaders.
Even if you do not know it, the neighbors could be silently stealing your WiFi, benefitting from the money you spent but also putting your data at risk. If you suspect the neighbors are stealing your WiFi, you need to act fast by looking for these four warning signs.
Unknown Devices on Your Network
If you scan your network and find devices you do not recognize, chances are the neighbors (or someone else) is free riding on your WiFi. The presence of these free riding devices on your home WiFi network will obviously slow your own devices down, but they can also pose a serious security threat, introducing viruses, malware and other dangers to your computer equipment, tablets, smartphones and connected devices.
You can use specialized software to scan your home WiFi network, and the entire process takes only a couple of minutes. You should scan your home WiFi network at least once or twice a week – and change the credentials on your router immediately if you see any unauthorized devices.
Slowdowns That Happen Like Clockwork
Occasional slowdowns in your network speed are par for the course, and they can be caused by anything from downed wires to inclement weather conditions. Just about everyone with a home WiFi network experiences an occasional slowdown or buffering on their live streaming, and that is not necessarily cause for concern.
On the other hand, WiFi that slows to a crawl at the same time every day is definitely cause for concern. If these sudden network slowdowns happen to coincide with the neighbors pulling into the driveway or their kids getting home from school, your WiFi may have been compromised.
Loss of Signal
If you lose your WiFi signal suddenly and for no apparent reason, you could be the victim of theft. While every WiFi signal is occasionally interrupted, this loss of signal should not be a common occurrence.
If you are experiencing the loss of your WiFi signal and constantly rebooting your router, it is time to investigate. The issue could be hardware related – a problem with your router, or software related, like the need for new firmware. Or it could be the neighbors are helping themselves to the WiFi signal you have so generously provided.
Flashing Lights on Your Router
If you are actively surfing the web, streaming a video or using your smartphone or tablet, you will see lots of activity on your router. But if you see those activity lights flashing when you are not using any devices, it is time to investigate the cause.
You can tell a great deal by looking at the lights on your router, so take a peek the next time you walk by. If you see lots of activity for no apparent reason, it is time to scan your WiFi network for unauthorized devices.
Having a home WiFi network provides you with a wealth of conveniences, connecting you with a world of knowledge and making your life easier in many different ways. Unfortunately, that home WiFi network can also be a source of danger, especially if you fail to lock down your router and other devices. If you suspect someone else is stealing your WiFi signal, you need to act fast – before that unauthorized access has a chance to damage your devices or steal your personal data.