I for once will never take mine for granted. Here’s what happened. Lately I have noticed something odd when clicking on the little triangle with 5 bars in the bottom right corner of the taskbar. Someone was hunting down my internet connection. That someone goes under the network name NETGEAR_EXT, obviously a neighbor. This neighbor is using a router, while my connection is through the Spectrum modem. I am running Window 7 on my computer and my network name is October.
See what’s happening? In these images, NETGEAR_EXT appears above my name (October), in bold, which means that it is AUTOMATICALLY connected to MY network, while I still have an option to Disconnect but only if I catch it in action. Please note, AUTOMATICALLY is the keyword here. I will come back to it later.
I was petrified, felt violated and whatnot. Briefly considered moving out of this building but how can you move if you own a studio condo?? After the initial shock was gone, I brought up this issue to the Spectrum CS which fell straight on deaf ears. Then I finally decided to take this in my hands. Started searching high and low all over the net as to how to get rid of this nightmare.
Here’s what I’ve done. Long story short, I have disabled the automatic connections. Remember the keyword AUTOMATICALLY in the beginning of this post? This is exactly what I’m talking about.
You can stop right here if you want to. Per chance you feel motivated, read on.
First off, I clicked the little triangle at the bottom right of the taskbar. My taskbar is on the bottom of the screen. Done that, you see the words Open Network and Sharing Center in blue (see the screenshots above); click that, and here you are in the Network & Sharing Center. Click Wireless Network Connection.
(This isn’t a full picture but I cropped out the bottom)
Next click goes to the Wireless Network Connection which opens yet another window, named Wireless Network Status. We’re almost finished as there are only a couple clicks left to get done and over with. That is, Wireless Properties and Properties.
See the two respective Properties buttons? Click each one at a time and see what happens. That is, Wireless Properties and Properties > Sharing tab. In the next respective windows that open, unclick all you can. Actually, one box at the top of each.
All my hard work appears to be working. My NEXTGEAR_EXT neighbor still hovers about my network name but apparently can’t connect. Bingo! I am up for celebration.
Here’s to hoping there are no other ways in this world to hack into my connection, or else my neighbor isn’t that much sophisticated. Doing a happy dance.