Wednesday, November 30, 2022

How to determine who is connected to your WI-Fi

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Sometimes the Internet slows down for no reason at all. One of the non-obvious reasons could be a third-party connection to your Wi-Fi. How to see and block other people’s devices – in this article.

Checking your router settings
The list of current connections is available in the Wi-Fi router settings. You can open the settings using a browser by entering 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.100.1 in the address bar, depending on the device model. The default username and password is usually “admin”.

In the settings of the TP-Link router, open “Wireless Mode” – “Status of Stations”, or “Wireless Mode” – “Wireless Statistics”:

For D-Link routers , these are “Advanced settings” – “Status” – “Clients”:

Asus has “Network Map” – “Clients”:

Other brands of routers may require a different path.

In the corresponding settings section, depending on the model, a list of current connections and information about them is displayed: the MAC address of the connected device, IP address, connection status, device type, and so on.

Wi-Fi router D-Link DIR-615 / T4

[4x100Mbps, 4 (802.11n), Wi-Fi 300Mbps, IPv6]
1 299 *
136 2
In stores: in 29 stores

Wi-Fi роутер TP-LINK TL-WR842N

[4x100Mbps, 4 (802.11n), Wi-Fi 300Mbps, USB 2.0 x1, 3G, 4G/LTE, IPv6]
1 699 *
470 24
In stores: in 248 stores
Using special programs
To track wireless connections, you can use special software that simplifies the task somewhat and allows you to get more complete information about the connected devices. Examples of this kind of software include the Wireless Network Watcher and SoftPerfect WiFi Guard utilities . The programs are very easy to use.

In Wireless Network Watcher, after launch, a list of connections with related information is immediately displayed.

In SoftPerfect WiFi Guard, you need to select a network adapter in the window that opens, and then click the “Scan” button. All detected connections, except for the current computer, will be marked in red. By double-clicking on the desired connection, you can select the option “I know this computer or device” to change the label to green.

Blocking unwanted connections
If setting/replacing a password does not help or is impossible for some reason, then first of all you need to identify a foreign connection in the corresponding list. If it displays information about the type of device, then you can immediately determine the extra connection. If this is not immediately clear, you should look at the MAC addresses of your devices.

In Android OS: Settings – System – About phone – General information – Wi-Fi MAC address and WLAN MAC address.

In iOS: Settings – General – About this device – Wi-Fi address

After the elimination method, we identify someone else’s connection in the list. Next, go to the router settings in the “MAC address filtering” or “MAC filter” section. Here you can select “MAC Address Deny Mode”.

The default mode “Disabled” means that there is no filtering and access is available for all MAC addresses. If you turn on the “Allow” mode and add any MAC address using the “Add” button, then Wi-Fi connection will be available only with this MAC address, all others will be blocked. The “Deny” mode allows you to block access for a single MAC address (or several), which must be manually added beforehand. In some router models, such settings are available directly in the connection list.

Additional Wi-Fi router settings
How else can you cut off freeloaders? First of all, this is setting a password for Wi-Fi. To do this, open “Wireless Mode” – “Protection” (“Wireless Security”, “Security Settings” or a similar section) – “Manually Configure Access Point”, select a strong network authentication method here (for example, WPA2-Personal) and set a password . Of course, while avoiding too simple password options that can be calculated by manual selection. Then click “Save”.

This option, however, is not always convenient. For example, if you often have different guests for whom you do not want to complicate Internet access.

Another method that allows you to hide your Wi-Fi not only from ordinary unauthorized users, but also from potential hackers, is to set the “Hide SSID” parameter in the router settings. We find in the settings “Wireless network” – “Basic settings” – “Hide SSID broadcast” or “Hide SSID”. After enabling this option, your access point will not be displayed among the available wireless networks on any devices. However, users who are informed of its existence will be able to connect manually by specifying the appropriate SSID.

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