How to stop neighbours using my Wireless Internet

Question: 

Someone is mooching my WiFi Internet connection stealing my bandwidth.

Can you give me a quick instruction how can I stop my smart-ass neighbors from tapping into my wireless Internet?

Answer: 

If you suspect or discovered someone is stealing your bandwidth by tapping into your wireless router without your consent you can still protect yourself from mooching.

The first thing you can do is to define the list of trusted MAC addresses that can connect to your wireless router.

Every network card has a unique MAC address, that identifies the computer connecting to the router. Your router's security options let you define the list of trusted MAC addresses that can connect to the router. Any other network cards will be blocked. Please refer to your wireless router's manual to learn how to configure the list of secure MACs.

In order to check the MAC address of a network adapter, you'll need to run the following command on each computer you wish to whitelist (under Windows click Start > Run > type cmd and press Enter to open command prompt): ipconfig /all This will display some details about your network cards. The MAC address is the Physical Address.

Locate the line and write down the address that looks similar to this: 08-74-28-F4-00-F4

The next step to stop moochers from stealing your bandwidth is to configure a WEP, WPA2 or WPA2-Mixed key that will be used to authenticate the computer connecting to your wireless network. Once you set the key using any of the above listed encryption methods (WPA2-Mixed is the best and strongest), you'll need to enter it on the client computer when you connect to the router wirelessly.

Refer to your router's user manual to learn how to configure WEP / WPA2 keys. To sum it up, defining a list of trusted MAC addresses and establishing a strong WPA2 password, will effectively ban any users except those you want from accessing your wireless network.

Some routers allow you to select the IP pool of trusted computers but it won't be very effective on a network with dynamically assigned IP's (DHCP). The best way to use IP-based security method is to assign your computer with a static IP and then allow it access to the wireless network. Please check your router's documentation for details.

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