Internet was a novelty couple of decades back and was restricted to researchers and professors to communicate important news. When you compare todayís Internet with yesteryear sí web, you will find that things have changed greatly. From being the most expensive connection, it has come to one of the cheapest connections. It has come a long way of development, now we have the wireless internet that is popularly known as WiFi.
We all use different wireless routers such as Belkin, Dlink and Linksys† to establish WiFi network, you can find these connections anywhere, from coffee shops to airports. When WiFi is taken for homes, the connection covers a minimum of 100-meter radius. There are chances for others to infiltrate into your connection. This can bring down your bandwidth and worst case scenario it is also like stealing your information. If you have a wireless internet at home but is not really a technical person, it really pays to know more about wireless network and how it works.
- Know the basics of your WiFi connection:
It is important to understand how wireless Internet works before you try to find out if anyone is ripping off your connection. A WiFi connection contains an Internet connection that can be a cable, DSL or satellite modem. When you attach the internet modem to the wireless router, it distributes the signal and generates a network and this network is called as LAN (Local Area Network). Your router makes use of addresses to assign every device on your network with an IP address for identification.
- Detecting Wireless Tampering:
Has your wireless connection gone slower than normal? Does your connection hang once in a while and unable to find the reason for it? There are chances for your connection to being accessed by someone without your permission. However, if these problems happen on a regular basis then there might be problems with your connection. If these problems occur out of the blue, then it means someone might be tampering with your connection.
The first thing you can do is to check on your connection and find out if it is secured. When you get a router, you have the option to set a key called WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access), and the latest WPA2. These are basically password-protected methods through which you can access your wireless network, it is very advisable to have a WPA or WPA2 for better security. If you donít have these options, then you are accessing internet on an open network (unsecured network).
When it is an open network, any person who comes within the range of your connection will be able to access internet for free. Though this is not hacking, it is open to debate on whether it is stealing. In short, without the WEP, WPA or WPA2 key your connection is in the danger of getting accessed by other people.
- Checking on your WiFi usage† :
To check if anyone is using your connection without permission, you can check your network log through router set up. To check the Network Log, just double click on My Network Places, then select View Entire Network.
The steps for finding out varies with every router, but in short you can find out the number of devices connected to your network log and check if there are trespassers. If the numbers are more than what you have set up, then someone has gained access to your wireless network.
- WEP Vs WPA2
Even with the Security key in place, there are chances for your neighbor to tamper into your network, especially if you are using the old types of router that only supports WEP. WEP is not as secured as WPA or WPA2.
How to stop the unwanted access? When you get a wireless connection ensure you have a WEP, WPA and WPA2 in place so that your network will not be completely vulnerable. Explore these options which you can use to protect your network better. With DHCP, you can ensure the wireless connection is given only to those devices you have connected. You may take these precautions to protect your connection from Wi-Fi theft.
Author Bio: An internet enthusiast, Ryan Larkin writes about Social Media, SEO and the latest in Technology. He writes for www.broadbandproviders.com – the leading provider of the best value broadband internet.