How to Find Who Is Using Your WiFi
An unsecured Wi-Fi connection allows anyone within a certain range access to your network and Internet connection. While this might be an unknowing neighbor who has accidentally connected to your router instead of their own, sometimes this can be a user who is stealing your bandwidth and causing your Internet speeds to drop. Though the easiest way to stop unknown users from connecting to your wireless network is to set up a security password on your router, there is a free program that allows you to view the number of computers that are logged into your Wi-Fi connection.
Shut down all wireless computers, laptops and devices that may be connecting to your wireless router. You should now only have the one computer that you are using to perform the scans connected to your router.
Download the Zamzom Wireless Network Tool from the Zamzom website. This free program works with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Install the Zamzom Wireless Network Tool on your computer and launch the tool using the icon that was placed on your computer's desktop during installation.
Review the computer information provided by the tool. This will tell you your own computer's IP address, computer name and mac address.
Allow the Zamzom Wireless Network Tool to scan your network by clicking on the "Fast Scan" or the "Deep Scan" button.
Review the list of IP addresses that appear in the box below the scan tools. If you have shut down all wireless devices in your house, you should only see one computer that matches your own IP address in the scan. If there are other computers in this list, you know that outside users are connecting to your wireless network.
Use the scan at different times of day and on the weekends to see if there are repeated connections by the same computer IP. While this program cannot tell you exactly who is connecting to your Wi-Fi, you can use the scan to help test during times when your neighbors might be home. Also remember that your wireless router, unless it is a very powerful one, has a limited range. Therefore, an outside user would need to be fairly close to the router to pick up the broadcast.
Tips & Warnings
- If your computer isn't connected to the router through a wireless connection, the tool may not detect it in the scan.
- To keep unknown users from logging into your Wi-Fi router, secure your wireless router with a security password.