In today's thoroughly connected society, every neighborhood may be home to dozens of wireless networks and routers. While the convenience of being able to connect to the internet at any given time on your network is certainly appealing, there are latent security issues related to personal routers that every internet user should be aware of. One of the most prevalent problems is unauthorized access. Illegal access to your internet router by an unauthorized user could result in a variety of problems depending on the specific activities undertaken. With that in mind, it is critically important that you have the tools and resources you need to monitor your router for any signs of unauthorized access. Fortunately, monitoring your router history can be accomplished using a few simple steps.
Accessing Your Router Logs
The vast majority of modern routers maintain a detailed record of all IP addresses that interact with the router to access the internet. Use this IP log to examine whether any unidentified IP addresses have connected to the internet via your router. If your router provides you with an administrator toolkit, it is likely that the activity log is found here. This log provides you with an overview of the IP addresses accessing your router, the length of time the IP address was active and, in some cases, the specific IP addresses of the websites visited. This information can prove to be immensely important if you are seeking to pinpoint unauthorized access on your machine.
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More Information Available With Router History
In addition to exploring the various IP addresses connecting to your router, you can also survey the amount of bandwidth being used by connected devices at any given time. If you use the internet on a bandwidth-limited plan, this information is particularly useful. As an example, NetGear routers feature a "Traffic meter" that shows precisely how much data has passed through your router over a designated time interval. Whether this method to monitor router traffic is effective is largely dependent on your specific goals, but it remains one of several helpful tools offered by modern routers.
Staying Informed on Router Activity
Some routers provide users with the ability to create an automated system by which traffic logs are emailed to the router owner at periodic intervals. If you keep regular logs of your internet traffic, this could be a useful resource. It is also possible to set up automatic notification systems if an IP address attempts to access a website that you have designated as blocked. Ultimately, you can customize this system as you see fit to ensure that your router remains under your control.