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Someone "streaming"; on my router yesterday and today

(53 Posts)
EmNetta Sun 18-Jan-15 21:27:43

Although Plusnet helped me change password and this month's billing ends tomorrow, I'd like to find out who's been doing this, and how. Any ideas please ?

Redglitter Sun 18-Jan-15 21:42:31

Is your router password protected. In my last flat one of my neighbours had theirs unprotected so anyone could basically use it if they were in range.

EmNetta Sun 18-Jan-15 22:14:30

It did indeed have a password (now altered), no-one else knew password or had access to laptop and router invisible from window. Any more ideas please?

Waswondering Sun 18-Jan-15 22:16:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Paleodad Sun 18-Jan-15 22:28:35

Not sure how you would find out who has been using it, more your password etc is changed. Before you could have accessed the router to see who or what devices were connected. In terms of how accessible your WiFi is, Depends on what type of security is used. AFAIK WEP is pretty easy to hack using freely downloadable tools. WPA is much more secure.

Paleodad Sun 18-Jan-15 22:29:14

...NOW your password is changed...

EmNetta Mon 19-Jan-15 00:03:29

Before password change, I did see somewhere a list of previous users, but they were all for the one family member who stays occasionally I did suggest that it was possible his ipad was still connected, but he couldn't remember how long ago it was since he downloaded anything, definitely not yesterday and today (both for 400-odd "units" - sorry I've forgotten proper word here - which is not something one would forget).

prh47bridge Mon 19-Jan-15 00:57:56

Your family member can only connect to your router when he is staying with you. I'm afraid you won't be able to find out who has been using your router. Even if it keeps logs (many don't) you will only find out their MAC address. Unless all your neighbours are willing to tell you the MAC addresses of all their devices you won't identify it. But if it isn't your family member then clearly someone else knew (or guessed) your password.

Do you have a smartphone? If so that will probably use your router when you are at home. Depending on how you use your smartphone that could eat up quite a bit of data.

PigletJohn Mon 19-Jan-15 01:02:52

as well as changing the password from time to time, you might consider fitting an electric timer to turn it off at times when you do not expect to be using it, especially late at night. You can always override the timer if you need to.

Lweji Mon 19-Jan-15 01:06:48

Or get a particularly long password, with lots of random characters.
It's not difficult to guess most passwords, or so the IT geeks tell me.

RockinHippy Mon 19-Jan-15 01:20:41

Old/ex friends of your DCs perhaps ??

We had this happen & it turned out to be a group of girls that DD used to be friends with from her old school, they had all been around our house at various times & she had signed them in on their various phones - without us realising they were hanging around outside, close to our house to log in & nick the wifi on their way home from school - password change put a stop to it

Cindy34 Mon 19-Jan-15 09:19:45

The PlusNet technicolor router will show you a list of devices.
Log in to the router, select Home Network.
Alas it says things like Apple-Tv-2, Unknown-A3F4C2E5
It may help but not much.

Cindy34 Mon 19-Jan-15 09:37:20

I would change the WiFi password regularly if it continues to be an issue.
If it becomes a huge problem, then I would look at different routers. Some will have MAC address filtering, so could be set to only allow your devices to connect. Not sure which routers have this option, someone more techy may know.

Meanwhile think about how someone gets access, they have to be in-range. So where would they be? Be observant.

Are you sure it is not someone in your household or a visiter? The log is showing streaming but are you sure you/anyone else has not been on Youtube, IPlayer, Netflix, Online training course, ITVplayer, BBCnews app.

400 units, do you mean MBs? If so that is quite small for streaming. I often stream several GB a day.
400 GB is huge, it's twice my monthly allowance, so unlikely to be that.
So 400MB is about an hour of low res video via iPlayer. Shorter time if in HD quality.

Thinking about it, seen any video ads on Mumsnet? Those could be on log as streaming. Would take quite a lot of those to make 400MB but it all adds up. Listening to music/radio would also count these days as most is streamed not individual file download.

What made you look at the log on the plusnet portal?

Cindy34 Mon 19-Jan-15 09:44:43 only tells me what percentage of my total use during the billing month was streaming.
Possible that different types of service have different views on the portal but makes me wonder what it is that you were looking at.

What page on portal were you looking at? Usage breakdown? Mine shows 93% streaming.

differentnameforthis Mon 19-Jan-15 10:20:38

Sounds obvious, but don't make your password a pets name! The guys who helped install my wifi said they knew of several people who used their pet's/children's names as passwords & would then be calling out to them in the street!

niceguy2 Mon 19-Jan-15 11:05:43

Hi Emnetta

The curious thing is that hacking a wireless network that's using WPA protection is actually incredibly hard and beyond the reach of most people. Assuming of course you are not using an easily guessable password. WEP security hasn't been used for years so unless your router is ancient chances are you won't be using WEP.

In my experience, most of the time traffic is sucked up by someone who is legitimately on the network but not up front or unaware about what they're doing. So for example is anyone watching BBC iPlayer? YouTube? Dare I say

Those are the obvious streaming uses and Plusnet should be able to tell you more which site it was.

zipzap Mon 19-Jan-15 11:39:34

Do you have Facebook? I think there was a change on there that if people posted videos then it would automatically start streaming them to you rather than you initiate them.

It caused lots of hoo ha as there were lots of people who suddenly discovered they'd unexpectedly used up their data allowance when they'd been fine previously. I think there is an option in the depths of the settings you can turn the auto play feature off - which is worth doing anyway.

SweetsForMySweet Mon 19-Jan-15 12:09:27

Have you tried contacting your router provider and asking them if they can see who/what is using the service? With my last provider, you could log onto the modem website and see how many devices were connected. I let my neighbour know their wifi link was open when it showed up on my open wifi list. They had changed the settings to watch a movie and had forgotten to change it back. Can be an expensive mistake if you are on a usage limit and someone is using it nearby.

nannynick Mon 19-Jan-15 12:56:21

Could you screenshot what you are looking at, may help determine how much data is involved.
If 400Mb then that is not a huge amount. Annoying is logging in to your network but as NetworkGuy says it could be a legitimate device in your home.

Have you brought anything new recently, TV, Phone, Sky box, Tablet?

It is far more likely to be a device you have than someone hacking in so don't worry about it too much. Changing WiFi password should now require devices to be reconfigured.
If you have teenagers, don't tell them the password, enter it in their device yourself. That may deter them passing the code on to mates.

nannynick Mon 19-Jan-15 13:00:55

Sorry meant Niceguy2.

EmNetta Mon 19-Jan-15 15:27:03

Thanks so much to all the lovely people who've sent helpful ideas. I'm wondering if it would prevent this happening again if I were to simply pull the plug for router when I go to bed, as I do with almost everything else (might be simpler than using Piglet John's suggestion of timer?)
Wish I could be more helpful about technical stuff, but apart from being able to watch You-tube, I don't have any electronic stuff, not even a mobile phone, and wouldn't know how to turn anything else on even if I had it. Only the hudl is recently new, but no-one else was near it and I wasn't using it from Saturday through to Sunday morning, when someone was having 400 odd whatsits (sorry blush) on both days.
I only knew about this when Plusnet emailed informing me that I was close to monthly limit (first time ever). New billing period starts today, fortunately.
No-one, not even family, knows my password/s, which was a phrase in this case, now altered to something other than letters, and someone (there were four people I spoke to at Plusnet yesterday) said same as previous poster, that this "piggy-backing" didn't happen often as not many people knew how to do it.
Must have a break here, although I've probably forgotten to answer some questions - have recently altered email notifications and there's a deafening "ping" every ?3mins.

EmNetta Mon 19-Jan-15 17:52:37

Nannynick, I'm afraid I've never heard of a "screenshot", so can't do this, and no longer have any techie friends nearby or even easily available.
Hello again nice guy, and I appreciate your comments but really can't think of any alternative to someone unauthorised being involved (I'm the only one here to be downloading porn and doubt I'm sleepwalking).
Just one newish item in the house, which I don't understand: new machine in a corner in case I need help or have a fall in back garden. It makes a noise sometimes, but nothing was happening this weekend, I'm sure.

Plusnet told me that "streaming" could mean an assortment of things, and I believe my usage was in percentages. Cindy34, I can't remember which page I was looking at when I saw list of users on my router, I'm such a dunce about these things, I frequently go right round the houses in an attempt to get to somewhere useful... However, I was definitely on Home Network but also somewhere else earlier which had a few more details.

Apologies for this delay, just usual phone calls & errands etc with two late birthday cards. Thanks to everyone for suggestions, info etc. I feel much better about it all.

nannynick Mon 19-Jan-15 19:28:43

New machine in corner isn't connected to your internet is it? Would expect it had its own phone line but maybe it uses wifi these days.

Hopefully changing wifi password will be enough to solve the problem.

nannynick Mon 19-Jan-15 19:32:40

Do you use Skype, Google Hangouts or any other chat thing? Those could be coming up as streaming as they send data differently to a webpage.

borisgudanov Tue 20-Jan-15 00:52:44


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