How to Stop the Neighbors From Using My Wireless

By Christopher Kennedy

The introduction of wireless networking allowed many home Internet users to share their Internet connection throughout their homes without the need for wires. With that positive came a negative, as wireless signals broadcast past the walls of their home, allowing neighbors with wireless-enabled computers to pick up any stray signals and essentially access free Internet service. Users can protect their personal data and stop unwanted surfers from accessing their home networks by password protecting their network, also known as encrypting.

Step 1

Open your Web browser while you're on a computer connected to your home network, and navigate to http://192.168.2.1. Depending on the make and model of your router, you may need to navigate to either 192.168.3.1 or 192.168.1.1.

Step 2

Locate the menu titled "Security" or similar on the router configuration home page. Click the link to enter your security settings page.

Step 3

Enter the user name and password you have set up for your router. If you have not set one up, leave the fields blank and click "Submit" or "OK." If you have forgotten your login information and your router was supplied to you by your Internet service provider, you may be able to recover your password by calling them. If not, you will have to reset your router completely by using paper clip and pressing the "Reset" button, usually located on the back on the router.

Step 4

Locate the title "Mode" or "Security Mode" on the security page. If your router supports it, use WPA wireless security, a form of security used by routers. You can tell if your router supports WPA by the modes listed under security mode. If WPA is not listed, then it is most likely not supported.

Step 5

Type a password in the password field, and when you are finished, click the "Apply Changes" button. Be sure to remember your password, as all the computers connected to your network will now need this to access the Internet.

Step 6

Click the Windows start button (lower left-hand side of your desktop) and select the "Connect To" option. Select your network from the list of available networks. You will be prompted to enter the password you just created. When you are finished, test your connection by opening your Web browser and navigating to a Web page. Enter the password on all the computers on your network using the same steps you used to enter the password on the first computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your router does not support WPA, select the WEP option listed, and click the "Generate Key" button. This is an older security option, so it will yield a random set of numbers and letters. Carefully copy them down, as they will have to be entered exactly as shown (instead of entering a password, as you did in the steps above) on each of your computers on your network.
  • Refer to your user manual if you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer's wireless settings. Selecting the wrong options may cause your computer not to be able to access the Internet. If you must, seek the help of your Internet service provider and have them walk you through the process.