Believe it or not, there is a level of control you have over devices connected to your Wi-Fi. In fact, you can gain quite a bit of satisfaction from kicking freeloaders off your Wi-Fi, after all, you’re the one paying for it. Or, if the devices in question are closer to home, limit the amount of bandwidth a particular device is allowed to use. There’s even an option to provide guest access to your network.
Parameters You Can Control
There’s a number of different perimeters you can control when it comes to devices connected to your Wi-Fi. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones and then provide the steps necessary to make it happen.
Limit a Device’s Bandwidth Usage
This is a big one, especially in settings that has a ton of devices connecting every single day. For example, you might not have the fastest internet and your kids–or entire family–seems to be using all of it at one time. It can be rather infuriating when your kids are downloading 10 million different files, browsing Facebook on their mobile devices while playing video games with their feet. Make a difference by throttling their bandwidth.
What this does is effectively reduce the amount they can use at one time, specifically their devices. It may even double as a lesson on managing bandwidth usage.
Have a Few Guests Over? Try This…
Everyones your friend when you have high-speed internet, which means every guest is going to bug you about your Wi-Fi password. Obviously, if you have your entire family over, all sharing the same Wi-Fi, that’s going to be killer on your network. You can reduce the strain your network is dealing with by enabling “guest access.”
Guest access is, essentially, a front for your real network. This is similar to limiting bandwidth, but in a different way. Instead of limiting devices, you create a separate network for others to connect to while your primary network is completely unaffected. This method is popular with coffee shops and restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi.
Kick Devices Off Your Network
This one is really fun if you noticed some freeloaders on your Wi-Fi. You can watch them from a window as they shake their phone in frustration, wondering why they aren’t connecting anymore. A side of popcorn is a requirement.
Filters and Restrictions
This is most popular with parents as places like YouTube can be home to content you may not want your young children seeing. These filters can be put in place for just about any site you want and it’s not a bad idea for places of business, too. You can restrict access to certain websites you don’t want employees wasting their time on, after all, they are there to do their jobs, not browse Facebook posts.
Speaking of restrictions, you also have the ability to disable your network at certain times. This is essential for any business as leaving it on when no one is around means ample time for a wannabe hacker to probe your network for weaknesses.
How to Control Devices Connected to Your Wi-Fi
So, all these options sound great, right? How do you make it happen? It starts by logging into your router. Yes, believe it or not, you can do that. It’s through your router that you make these changes in order to have some level of control over devices that are connecting to your Wi-Fi.
Unfortunately, every router is different and there’s dozens of different brands. However, with that being said, these steps are generally enough that they’ll work for any router. Thankfully, most menu options used to control devices are placed under similarly named parameters.
1. Start by opening your preferred web browser, a blank page to be specific.
2. In the address bar, punch in your router’s IP address. Depending on your router, this can be wildly different from one person to the next.
[NOTE]: For Windows users, finding your IP address is as easy as launching CMD. Run the command “ipconfig” and looking under “Default Gateway” for your IP address. It should be 4 digits.
[NOTE]: For MacOS, open System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP. You’ll find your IP address next to “Router.”
3. Log in with your username and password.
4. Now, from here you’ll see options of changing your Wi-Fi password, a list of connected devices and all manner of details. And it’s here where you can make changes and control the way devices interact with your network.
[NOTE]: Yours may appear different if you pay for a different internet provider.
For example, if you wanted to kick a device off your network, simply change your Wi-Fi password. Once your network recognizes a device isn’t using the right password, they are immediately removed.
Having this level of control over devices connected to your Wi-Fi is a must, especially in this day and age. It may even save you some money if you choose to limit bandwidth devices use rather than upgrade to faster speeds. It can also save yourself a lot of problems if unauthorized devices have been accessing your Wi-Fi.