How to check if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and what to do about it

Have you noticed that your Wi-Fi is slowing down? Or are you ever worried about neighbors or a potential hacker entering your network to steal your internet?

Even if your neighbor is only “borrowing” your Wi-Fi, having anyone on your network could be a potential risk to you and your privacy. Read on to learn how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and what to do about it.

Is someone stealing your Wi-Fi?

What are the risks of someone stealing your internet connection?

Kurt Knutson

No matter how dangerous it is for someone else to be on your Wi-Fi, it’s not good.

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Your connection slows down with each added device. If someone gets into your Wi-Fi and uses it for streaming, gaming, or anything else that uses a lot of data, your connection will definitely slow down even more.

They may also have access to files saved on your devices connected to that Wi-Fi network, plus even more experienced hackers can end up gaining access to devices on the network. This means that the information you enter is no longer secure or private.

You also lose your paid-for Wi-Fi connection if someone else steals that connection.

How to check if someone is on your Wi-Fi

To avoid all of the above issues, be sure to check if someone is on your network.

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This first step works if you don’t have a lot of devices connected to your Wi-Fi router. If you have five or fewer devices on your Wi-Fi network, this is a good method. You can do this with more devices, but after following these steps, you may have to log back into the Wi-Fi network afterwards, so the more devices you have connected, the longer it will take.

Having anyone on your network can potentially be dangerous to you and your privacy.

Having anyone on your network can potentially be dangerous to you and your privacy.

1) Unplug your devices and check your router

First, you can disconnect all devices you have connected to your Wi-Fi network (such as Alexa).

Then turn off Wi-Fi on any other device that does not connect to the Internet with a socket, such as a phone, tablet, computer.

Next, check your router to see if any activity is occurring. If you still notice flashing lights, someone is probably on your network.


2) Log into your router and check for activity

There are ways to secure your Wi-Fi network.

There are ways to secure your Wi-Fi network.

You can log into the network application or IP address online to check connected devices. If you have a physical router, follow the steps on the back or bottom of it to log in online and then look at the devices on your network. If you see any devices that you don’t recognize or those that are in different areas than where you and your devices are located, remove them from the network.

3) Use an app to discover devices on your network

You can use one of the many applications to check a complete list of devices connected to your network. This is similar to checking it on your router, it’s just a third-party option that you can use on both iOS and Android devices.

The app will scan your Wi-Fi network and show you which devices you’re sharing with.

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You used any of the above methods, and now you want to kick the stranger out of your Wi-Fi network. how do you do that?

1) Block/ban/delete any unknown users

Wi-Fi controls

Wi-Fi controls

When you follow the steps above, you should be able to block, block, or, at the very least, delete any unknown devices or users on your Wi-Fi network.

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2) Change your router name/password

Wi-Fi setup

Wi-Fi setup

You should never have an open Wi-Fi network, so make sure you choose a strong Wi-Fi name and password so that no one can easily guess your login information. You should also be able to do this by logging into your Wi-Fi app/website, or following the login instructions on the back of your router.

Once you change your Wi-Fi name and password, you’ll have to reconnect all of your devices, so no one else without that new login information will be able to easily get back in.

3) Upgrade your router

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Buying the right router can make a difference to your overall digital security. We’ve ranked our top picks for secure routers. Head over to and search for “Top 5 Routers for Best Security”. They all come with at least WPA2 access, which is the minimum level of protection you’ll want when choosing a router.

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