How to Detect if Someone's Stealing Your WiFi

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Author's Note

Smartphones changed everything, didn't they? A few short years ago, we hoarded WiFi like a precious commodity. Your neighbors might steal it! Criminals might park outside your house and download illegal files on your network! Sounds horrifying, doesn't it? Well, once we got smartphones with omnipresent data connections, we calmed down a bit. WiFi is now so ubiquitous that you don't have to worry too much about you neighbors leeching off of you -- they've probably got WiFi, too. We don't need to find hotspots when we've got 3G and 4G on our phones. Updating this article, it was amazing to see how much our Internet access has changed in a few short years. And wireless security is a lot better, too -- the article's old mentions of WEP felt archaic in a much more secure WPA2 world. In a few years, someone will no doubt look back on my update revision and say "WPA2? How quaint!"

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  • Air Snare. "Intrusion detection software for Windows." (April 19, 2009)
  • Broida, Rick. "Stop Internet poachers from stealing your WiFi." PC World. Jan. 27, 2009. (April 18, 2009)
  • Leary, Alex. "WiFi cloaks a new breed of intruder." St. Petersburg Times. July 4, 2005. (April 20, 2009)
  • "How to tell if someone is stealing your WiFi." Feb. 26, 2009. (April 19, 2009)
  • Musil, Steven. "Michigan man dodges prison in WiFi theft." May 22, 2007. (April 17, 2009)
  • The TCP/IP Guide. "TCP/IP dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP)." (April 18, 2009)