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This is what I believe to be an interesting challenge :)

A relative (that leaves a bit too far to go there in person) is complaining that their WIFI/Internet network performance has gone down abysmally lately. She'd like to know if some of the neighbors are using her wifi network to access the internet but she's not too technically savvy.

I know that the best way to prevent issues would be to change the Router password, but it's a bit of a PITA having to re-configure all wifi devices... and if the uninvited guest broke the password once, they can do it again...

Her wifi router/internet connection is provided by the telco, and remotely managed so she can log-on to their telco account's page and remotely change the router's Wifi password, but doesn't have access to the router status page/config/etc unless she opts out of the telco's remote support and mainteinance service...

So, how could she check if there are guests in the wifi with this restrictions and in the most "point and click way"?

In this case I'd probably use nmap to look for other devices in the network, but I'm not sure if that's the easiest way to do it. I'm not a wifi expert, so I don't know if there are any wifi-scanning utils that can tell us who's talking to the router... Lastly, she's a Windows user as I guess that'll influence the choice of tools available

Any suggestions more than welcome

Regards!

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migrated from serverfault.com Dec 1 '12 at 9:37

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Before we go into very technical ways to do this, have this person, change the password on her router. If you disable WPS on the router, and pick a secure password, they won't break the password. The simple solution of course is to remote into her computer using any number of remote desktop applications, and view the information yourself, I assume you have more technical expertise then this rrelative since they are asking you for help. –  Ramhound Dec 1 '12 at 10:18
    
@Ramhound: I know that changing the router's password/channels would ensure that even if they have "unvinted" visitors, but as mentioned in the original question, that means dealing with the telco's help desk - and going to the hassle of changing the wifi config on 2 laptops, 3 mobile phones, 2 tablets, and 2 gaming consoles... I was hoping for a simple way to check for connected devices on the WLAN - simple enough to be described over email so that I could send them the instructions... at least simpler than telling them to install nmap and run a ping scan on the WLAN :) –  JJarava Dec 2 '12 at 13:58
    
@Ramhound. As for remoting into her computer, that's something I know I can do (I actually have a paid Webex account, so it's quite simple), but we're in slightly different TZs and with different time-tables... Again, I know the possibility is there, but I was looking fro something I could email instructions, get results and be done... I guess I'll end up sending a couple of links to get Winpcap, nmap windows binaries on her system and a short two-liner to run the scan and package the data :)) –  JJarava Dec 2 '12 at 15:20

1 Answer 1

This is what I believe to be an interesting challenge :)

More a Thing clueless People try that nas no practical relvance.

A relative (that leaves a bit too far to go there in person) is complaining that their WIFI/Internet network performance has gone down abysmally lately. She'd like to know if some of the neighbors are using her wifi network to access the internet but she's not too technically savvy.

And to her cluelessness you add your?

Before doing anthing assuming someone hacks her WIFI Network:

You DO know that: * Wifi is a shared ressource - limited number of channes, limited bandwiodth per channel * Wifi is easily disturbed? * Channels on 2.4ghz are a sad joke - 5ghz is better.

There must not be a rogue Computer on her Network. It is enough that she did not properly set up her Network and is on a now totally congested wifi band.

I would start with a proper Access Point and do an Analysis of the frequency bands.

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As additional comment - 2.4 ghz is where a LOT of stuff operates that can disturb wifi. Like microwaves, for example. –  TomTom Oct 26 '13 at 21:31

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