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If someone is leeching of your WIFI router, would you typically be able to detect this by looking at the connected IP addresses (association list) in the routers admin environment?

I've configured my WIFI router to:

  • use a strong WPA2 PSK key
  • only allow 3 MAC-addresses
  • let the firewall drop all LAN to WAN packets except from 3 IP-addresses

But still I experience a slow connection. Even the ping to the router is very slow. This is probably due to something else than somebody leeching. But still, considering the above security measures, would a leecher typically show up in the association list if there would be one?

I'm using a ZyXEL P-2602HW-D1A router by the way.

share|improve this question
can you use a network cable to plug your laptop/computer into the router and try the ping again? What speed is the wireless (G, N, N+, etc) – tombull89 Apr 9 '11 at 22:27
Enter the router interface, most routers will show all connected to the router, I doubt anyone has cracked your key, but you can change the key, see if it changes your speed temporarily. – Moab Apr 9 '11 at 22:36
@tombull89: The ping is pretty good again at the moment, average between 1 to 10 ms, with some rare packets of 1100 (!) ms here and there. So connecting with wire probably wont tell me much right now unfortunately. I will try it when the ping is slow again though. The speed is B/G mix (if that is an accurate enough answer to your question?). – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 22:47
It's very unlikely you've got leachers. – emgee Apr 9 '11 at 22:48
@Moab: That's a good tip. I'll try that next time my ping is slow again. But so basically you are saying a connected leecher would typically show up in the associated list of IP adresses of a typical routers interface? Is that correct? – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 22:50
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Enter the router interface, most routers will show all connected to the router, I doubt anyone has cracked your key, but you can change the key, see if it changes your speed temporarily.

You can also change your DNS servers in the Router or in your OS to faster servers closer to you, you can use this program to determine a fast DNS server close to you, and will show your current DNS server and how fast it is compared to what it found.

You may also have radio interference, change the radio channel in the router, try several different channels to get the best connection.

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Thanks for the tips. So, if a leecher was accessing my router it would typically have to show up in the list of connected devices in my routers interface, is that correct? – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 23:08
you're right about commenting on your answer, and as you can see I just did, only to find out afterwards you made the other comment about it. :) And so I read your response. Thanks. – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 23:10

Another possibility of a slow wireless network is interference from other routers in your neigbourhood. Try changing the channel and see if it helps.

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It doesn't sound like you have leechers. Most likely there is interference on the 2.4GHz spectrum (microwave or cordless phone) causing dropped packets. Routers in the area using the same channel might also interfere, so you could try changing that.

Some more information you could offer:

  • what speed and what kind is your WAN link?
  • do you notice the speed decrease when there are B-only devices on the network?
  • what kind of signal strength do you have?

And what does a 'slow connection' mean from your point of view? You mention ping time, so I'm understanding this is a latency issue? Or is bandwidth also a problem?

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You'll have to excuse my possible ignorance in answering your questions, but I believe you are asking for this: DSL speed = 14659 kbps / 1055 kbps, WAN speed = 54M. Type is B/G mix. Not sure what you mean by B-only devices? Is that a reference to B/G mix? If so, I believe all my devices (XP workstation and Macbook) that experience this are both B/G. Signal strengh is good to very good all the time when this occurs. Slow in my case sometimes means under 1 Mbps on but more worryingly also very slow connection to the router. So even in internal network it is slow. – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 23:01
When I access the routers web interface it builds up very slow (image loading, etc.) and pinging to the router is also very slow at those times (300 - 400+ ms). – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 23:04
And I will try changing the channels indeed. – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 23:05
DSL speed is what your provider advertises, and it's the same as the Wide Area Network (WAN) speed. B-only means devices that are not capable of the G speeds, but it sounds like you should be able to enable G-only for your particular setup. Maybe try that, see if it affects things? As for the low outbound speeds, I have experienced this as well with DSL — it was a bad phone line that I couldn't fix. But it could also be the improper installation of the phone filters, if you have those. – xorbyte Apr 9 '11 at 23:11
"it was a bad phone line" I'm not singling out that possibility indeed as I'm (and the router is) 3 stories up from the entry point. They warned me about it, that that could cause some trouble. But I've had no particular trouble with it for the first 2 years. It's only the last few weeks I'm experiencing this every now and then. Anyway, thanks for the tips. I'll look into those and tinker with it a bit. – Decent Dabbler Apr 9 '11 at 23:24

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