Are strangers using my WiFi without my knowledge?

By TECHBOOK | Jun 04, 2022 5:53 p.m

It is no longer just computers and smartphones that log into the WLAN network. With many devices, you can quickly lose track of who is on the move in your own network.
Which devices are actually in my WLAN network and do they all belong to me? Some of you may have already asked yourself this question. Because it can happen that strangers or even the neighbors use your own WLAN. In the best-case scenario, unauthorized access will only result in your Internet slowing down – but data being sent over the network could also be read. Even when criminal activity is happening on your network, there can still be trouble TECHBOOK presents two easy ways to keep track of who's roaming your network.

Monitor connection via router

You can also check directly in the router's user interface which devices are connected via WLAN. The disadvantage of this method, however, is that you don't get a notification when a third-party device registers.
With a Fritzbox, for example, you can find the connected devices under “Home network” and then “Home network overview”. In the "home network" you can also activate the "Power Mode" of the Fritzbox.

Monitor WLAN connections at the Telekom router

Even with Telekom routers, it is easy to find out who is in the network. To do this, simply open the router configuration and select the "Network" menu. The list with all registered devices can be found in the submenu "NAT & Port Rules". Here you can now switch off one device after the other to identify which device it is. Then name the devices accordingly. If an unknown device, for example from your neighbor, appears in the WLAN network, you can block the culprit immediately. You should also change your access data.

Scanning is also possible with a smartphone

You can also use your smartphone to find out quickly whether your neighbors or other unauthorized persons are in your own WiFi network. You can simply download a network scanner app for this. The most common programs include Fing for Android and Apple, iNet – network scanner for Apple or Network Analyzer for Android or Apple. All three apps are free versions that can be upgraded to pro versions with more features. However, the free versions are definitely sufficient for a quick check.
If you want to be constantly informed about what's happening in your home WLAN, it's best to use programs like "WhoFi".
This free Windows software scans the WiFi for all devices connected to it and presents them in a clear list. Here you can now classify devices as "known" or "unknown" and name them individually so that you don't lose track.
The software now automatically scans the WLAN at adjustable times and as soon as the program finds an unknown device, it sounds an alarm. In this way, you always have an overview of what is going on in your home WLAN and whether your neighbors or others are dialing in without permission.
However, the disadvantage of “WhoFi” is that you cannot trade from within the program. If you have discovered a suspicious device, there is no way to exclude it from the network – you have to go through the router to do this. In addition, “WhoFi” is entirely in English and requires registration.
What is the difference between WLAN and WiFi? The answer is here:

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What to do if unauthorized persons are actually in the WLAN?
If there are actually devices in the network that don't belong there, you should quickly change the WiFi password and log in again on your own devices. Also, make sure you're using the latest WiFi encryption method so strangers or your neighbor can't easily gain access to your network.

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