Making sure that your router and network is safe from external threats can be a very important task for most home users. If your security is vulnerable, then not only is your router at risk, but also all the devices connected to it.
Any data that will be shared with your network could be potentially at harm due to external threats such as unwanted people using your WiFi, or a vulnerability in the software that might make your router more prone to these threats. The following article discusses how you can kick unwanted people off of your WiFi in case you think someone is hogging the bandwidth or someone unknown IP is connected to the router.
Firstly, you’ll need to see which devices are actually connected to the router and which ones you recognize or which ones you don’t. For this purpose, you will need to log in to the configuration page of your WiFi. The default IP is usually the same depending on which model router you’re using, but you can also find out by typing “ipconfig” in Command Prompt.
The numbers given next to Default Gateway will be your router’s IP. Enter this into your browser and login using either the default info which is usually Admin and Password, or in case you changed it, enter the new one. After you have logged in, there are certain tabs to look for such as “DHCP Client List” or “Connected Devices”. This will show you a list of MAC addresses of all the devices that are currently connected to the network. If there are more than usual connected or some that you don’t recognize, then you’ve probably got an external user on your WiFi.
There are a number of steps that you can take in order to make sure this doesn’t happen, which mainly starts by ramping up your security. Log back in and under Security Settings, you will find a drop down menu that will allow you to choose either WPA or WPA2. Choose the WPA2 and come up with a complex password that compromises of upper and lower case letters.
For more advanced users, you can manually block the MAC addresses of the devices connected that you don’t recognize. To make it easier to fish out these spoofed addresses, disconnect every device connected to your network except the computer you’re using. And this way you can see if there are unwanted users on the network or not.
In extreme cases, you can also reset the modem router and this way, not will all users be removed, but you can start again with factory settings. Make sure to come up with a strong password and a good SSID. Other than that, also make sure that your router’s firmware is up to date. Older versions usually have vulnerabilities that people can take advantage of. So make sure to regularly check your manufacturer’s site for any recent updates that your router may need.