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How do I know if someone is using my wireless connection

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I am not very knowledgeable about wireless and routers and such, but is there a way to tell if someone is using your wireless connection? Is there a way to make it so noone else can get online? For instance, I have a Netgear WPN824 router connected to my desktop computer and I can use my laptop wirelessly. I have a friend who has a laptop with a built in wireless card and she can get online from her house, but she does not have another computer there or a router. How is she connecting and can someone know that she is apparently on their network?

I really don't understand how this all works. I just know that I made a call and said I wanted to use my laptop wirelessly, was told what I needed to buy, and then Netgear had to tell me what to do to set it up, but I have no idea what we did or why. Can you explain in simple terms?

Thanks for your help.

S. Gilson
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Here is the Netgear knowledgebase support page for your router.
You may want to read about MAC address filtering. This will only allow MAC addresses that have permission to access your router.
Also have a USB pen drive available when you encrypt your network connections. The router software will use I rather than having to type in the entire code.

Edited by acklan, 03 March 2007 - 09:36 AM.

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i hope u guys dont mind me getting on this, but iv been saying the same thing to myself.
i have roadrunner and they gave me a highspeed modum, there are l.e.d light on there that shows power, link, phone, and other stuff. when some one is on the phone it blinks to notify, also does the same with link when i turn my computer on and get on the internet. when i first installed my wirelss linsys g router and my computer was off so was my xbox i noticed the link l.e.d light stop blinking. now iv had it for 3 months and even if my computer is off and xbox the light stays blinking showing someone is using the internet. im thinking someone is using my router to get to the online. is there any way to kick them off or to find out if someone is.

also my computer is using a wirless pci adapter g and my xbox 360 i wired directly to the router.
thx for any info.

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you might want to look at this...
The six dumbest ways to secure a wireless LAN...click here
if you want real security ...click here
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