You’re on the Internet and it works just fine during the day. However, in the evenings, when your neighbors come home from work and their kids are home from school, you notice your connection gets a little slower. It’s possible that the people who live in the areas surrounding your home are piggybacking on your wireless Internet connection instead of getting their own. To find out if this is the problem, run a simple test to see who’s using your Internet connection.
Turn on all of the computers in your house, including all laptops, that connect to your wireless router. Make sure your wireless router is on as well.
Each computer is assigned an IP address when it connects to the computer. Locate the IP address for each computer connected to your wireless network. You can frequently find this information by double-clicking on the wireless Internet icon located in the System Tray in the lower left-hand corner of your screen. Write down the IP address for each computer.
Open your Internet browser and use the IP addresses you just wrote down to find out if there’s someone piggybacking your Internet connection. Type “192.168.1.1” into your web browser and press “Enter.” This is the default router IP address for most wireless routers.
Navigate through your router’s page until you find a place to view “log files.” When the page opens up, you’ll see all of the IP addresses that have been used to access your wireless network. Compare the IP addresses on the list to the IP addresses you wrote down from each computer. If there’s an IP address that does not match the addresses you wrote down, you know someone is accessing your wireless Internet connection without authorization.
Alter your wireless router so the connection requires a password key for people who want to access the Internet. Without that password, people can’t access the Internet.