Who is stealing your WiFi and how to stop them!
How many devices do you have connected to your home’s WiFi?
We tend to think about our phones, tablets, laptops but we forget about smart TVs, Firesticks, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, Smart Speakers, Smart Plugs, Security Cameras, and a gazillion more devices.
On average we have 10 – 15 devices connected to our network at any one time and that number is going to grow as more devices become “connected” and “smart” and form part of the Internet Of Things (IoT).
The WiFi Overload
The problem is that these devices consume bandwidth. Your smart camera system uploading HD video clips to the cloud every time the neighbor’s cat walks by your window obviously consumes a lot of data.
This is the same data that is shared by all your devices on your network. So when the darn cat goes on his walkies at the same time you are playing on your Playstation it could cause latency and get you thrown out of the game. So while you are trying to get faster wifi for your PS4 the problem may not even be your PS4 after all.
Our WiFi bandwidth is stretched thin already. It is being divided among all our devices so the last thing we need is our neighbor and hit cat stealing our wifi too.
What we need to do is ensure that everything that is connected to your WiFi SHOULD be connected.
How to check who and what is connected to your WiFi?
There are several ways to do this. I find that the simplest way is with an app that identifies all the devices connected to your router and yes it can be done on Windows 10 computer or on a Mac.
- Head over to http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wireless_network_watcher.html
- Download the Wireless Network Watcher file.
- Run the software on your computer
- Take note of all the devices on your network – do you recognize everything?
- Take note of the MAC addresses of devices you don’t recognize
- Head over to your router’s setting
- Find the Security or Access Control or Parent Control (this will be different depending on your router’s software)
- Add the MAC address of the devices you don’t recognize and block them.
- If you mistakingly blocked a device you shouldn’t have, simply remove it from this list.
I don’t have a MAC but I am told this one works: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/lanscan/id472226235?mt=12
So in summary:
We do expect that our internet is nice and fast all the time. Since we are still working and learning from home, a slow connection is really frustrating and the last thing we need is someone or something on stealing our bandwidth.
Check out how to secure your WiFi too so you can ensure no one is creeping into your network and not only stealing your bandwidth but using your own security cameras to spy on you!