How to find out if my wireless is being used

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by parrothead, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. parrothead macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    #1
    I have noticed significant slow downs in my internet connection (cable) at times in the last few days and when I look at the cable modem and airport extreme the lights are always blinking like there is activity (even when my computers are sleeping/off). I have the basic security options turned on in the Airport preferences, so I was wondering is if probable that someone hacked the encryption and is using my wifi? Is there any way to tell if there is someone else on the network? And if there is, how can I get them off and boost my security?

    Thanks
     
  2. Symtex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    #2
    You need to enable mac filter and only allow your mac address to browse. Add that to WEP 128 bit or Wi-FI and your Wireless network will be secure.
     
  3. parrothead thread starter macrumors 6502a

    parrothead

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonds, WA
    #3

    Thanks, so does it sound to you like someone is stealing my wifi or could it be simply explained by a cable slowdown. Either way, I will follow your advice. :)
     
  4. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000

    Phat_Pat

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Location:
    I Live Where I Live
    #4
    if i remember right cable is shared with all the users. so the bandwidth is dependent on how many people are online.

    although i'm probably wrong :rolleyes:
     
  5. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #5
    Not sure what you can look at with an Airport but most wireless routers allow you to view the attached devices or similar so you can look for something like that in the admin interface and see if there is anyone there that shouldn't be.

    As for the cable internet being shared bandwidth, I am fairly sure that is right so if the cable connection that you share with your neighbours (not your cable modem but the actual cable back to your ISP) is being heavily (ab)used by others then you will also suffer.

    Also MAC address filtering is one of the easiest security features to overcome, your MAC address is easy to sniff over the network and just as easy to spoof, WEP keys are also fairly easy to crack with the right software. In general any security you put on wireless is just an inconvenience, if someone really wants in they will probably get in but most people won't go to that length so with WEP and MAC filtering you should be good to go.
     
  6. nichos macrumors 6502

    nichos

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Fl
    #6
    Nope you're correct :D DSL is the one that doesn't share a connection with others. Though depending on how far away you are from their office, you may not get as good of a speed, but it will be consistant.
     
  7. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #7
    Yep, ditto that.

    As to the WiFi...as people have said make sure your encryption (WEP) is on, filter MAC addresses, possibly dont broadcast your SSID, and make sure you change your admin and wireless access passwords to new strong keys (long with words and numbers) to limit illicit access.

    Also check your signal strength because 2.4GHz is an open / public frequency and many house wireless phones as well as many other house hold and industrial electrical items are on that frequency, which could be interfering with your wifi communication...

    Thridly, get KISMAC from Version Tracker and leave it running on occassion when your not using your WiFi to see what other WiFi emmitters are about in case you can detect them at times your net slows down. Please note on occassion I find Kismac also interfers with my own home WiFi network as it fiddles with my airport, so dont get too alarmed.
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    Get the Airport Management tools from the Apple support site - I'd link but the office PC system won't let me near any page that has downloads on it!

    The Client monitor part of that will show you any IP addresses that have been allocated out on your server. It also keeps a track of your throughput and noise levels.
     
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #9
    If you gonna use encryption, then for Whoever's sake use WPA, not WEP. WEP is totally busted, while WPA is still (somewhat) safe... just use a LONG password, like 20 characters/numbers or more...

    Also, as sad above, turn off SSID broadcast and turn on MAC filtering, every little bit helps... hopefully this makes it enough of a hassle for someone trying to access your net, and makes them go elsewhere...
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    I don't know if the Airport BS has a logging feature, but my Netgear router does. It logs the LAN IP address and the website on every packet? sent. When it fills up, it sends an e-mail to me.

    It's useful to see if anyone is logging onto my network (none so far) and which sites they've visited.

    I guess it would be useful for parents with kids that surf unattended. You could check what types of sites are visited to determine if they are appropriate.
     
  11. r6girl Administrator/Editor

    r6girl

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #11
    in addition to the security options already mentioned, i'd suggest a program like host monitor: http://edge.mcs.drexel.edu/GICL/people/sevy/airport/#Wireless_Host_Monitor

    i've used it to see if anyone else is logging on to my wireless network (using an airport extreme base station). it shows you the MAC and IP addresses of all computers using the wireless connection.

    i found it be to very useful when i lived in an apartment complex with lots of other wireless networks and was just learning how to set up my wireless network securely.

    marianne
     
  12. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Location:
    Northants, UK
    #12
    My NTL modem and Linksys router flash away happily night and day.
     
  13. bellis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    #13
    What's the risk

    Is there any risk to your personal computer if you don't have the wifi protected with a password? I kind of like the idea of sharing my connection as I always appreciate it when I am out of town and someone has not put a WEP on their connection.
     
  14. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #14
    I'd think it depended on how much sensitive information you have on your computer and how well its security is set up to avoid people trying to mess with your system.

    There's also the additional factor of knowing what people are doing on your network - if they start downloading lots of dodgy files, it would be you the RIAA came after...
     

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