Once you have given someone your Wi-Fi password, they will have unlimited access to your Wi-Fi and they will be able to connect to your network on all of their devices. Anyway, that’s how it works. Here’s how to download them.
Option 1: Change Wi-Fi Password
The easiest and safest way is to simply change the password of your Wi-Fi network on your router. This will forcefully disconnect all devices from your Wi-Fi network — even your own. You will need to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network by entering the new password on all of your devices. Anyone who does not have your new password will not be able to connect.
Let’s be honest: if you have a lot of devices, reconnecting them all will be a hassle. But it’s also the only real, reliable method. Even though you can blacklist a device on your router so it can’t reconnect, someone with your Wi-Fi password can connect to the new device. (And even if they don’t remember the password, there are ways to recover saved Wi-Fi passwords on Windows PCs and other devices.)
To do this, you need to access your router’s configuration settings — usually through a web interface — log in and change your Wi-Fi password. You can also change the name of a Wi-Fi network while you’re on it. We have a guide for accessing your router’s web interface, and you can also search the web for your router’s name and model number to find the manufacturer’s manual and official instructions. Look for the «Wireless» or «Wi-Fi» section in your router’s settings.
All of this assumes that you have set a password on your router! Make sure you enable secure encryption (WPA2) and set a strong passphrase. If you’re using an open Wi-Fi network, anyone can connect.
RELATED:How to change the name and password of your Wi-Fi network
Option 2: Use MAC address filtering on your router
Some routers have access control features that can determine which devices are allowed to connect. Every wireless device has a unique MAC address. Some routers allow you to blacklist devices with a specific MAC address. Some routers allow you to whitelist only approved devices and prevent other devices from connecting in the future.
Not all routers have this option. Even if you can use it, it’s not entirely safe. Someone with your Wi-Fi passphrase can change their device’s MAC address to an approved one and take their place on the Wi-Fi network. Even if no one does, you will have to manually enter MAC addresses when connecting new devices, otherwise an attacker can connect at any time — this does not seem ideal.
For all these reasons, we do not recommend using MAC address filtering.
But if you just want to temporarily turn off a device—maybe your kids’ device—and you’re not worried about them bypassing the block, this can be a good method.
You’ll have to dig into your WI-Fi router settings to see if it supports something like this. For example, on some Netgear routers, this is called a «wireless card access list». On other Netgear routers, such as the Nighthawk, the access control feature simply controls access to the Internet — locked devices can still connect to Wi-Fi but are denied access to the Internet. Google Wifi routers allow you to «pause» devices’ internet access, but it doesn’t knock them off your Wi-Fi.
RELATED:Why You Shouldn’t Use MAC Address Filtering on Your Wi-Fi Router
Option 3: Use a guest network first
If you provide guest access to your Wi-Fi network, you can make this process much easier by setting up a guest Wi-Fi network on your router. The guest network is a separate access network. For example, you might have a «Homebase» network and another «Homebase-Guest» network. You will never give your guests access to your main network.
Many routers offer this feature by calling it «guest network» or «guest access» in their settings. Your guest network may have a completely separate password. If you ever need to change it, you can simply change the guest network password without changing the main network password or disconnecting your own devices.
Guest networks can often also be «isolated» from your main network. Your guest’s devices will not be able to access shared folders on your computers or other network-connected resources if you enable «isolation» or disable «Allow guests to access local network resources», or whatever the option is called.
Once again, you’ll have to dig into your router’s settings to see if it has a «guest network» feature. However, guest networks are much more common than access control lists.
RELATED:How to enable guest hotspot on your wireless network
If you can access a device connected to Wi-Fi
In the unlikely event that you have access to someone’s device and they haven’t set a password or can’t stop you, you can delete the saved password. For example, you can tell iPhone to forget the network or delete a saved Wi-Fi network profile in Windows.
If you have access to the user’s device and they didn’t remember or write down your Wi-Fi password, this will solve your problem. They cannot reconnect to this device unless they re-enter the password. Of course, they could view it on any other device they have access to where the password is stored.
How about software that gets people off your Wi-Fi?
Search the web for this topic and you’ll find people recommending software like Netcut or JamWifi that can send packets to other devices on your Wi-Fi network telling them to disconnect.
These software tools basically perform a Wi-Fi deauthorization attack to temporarily boot a device from your Wi-Fi network.
This is not a real solution. Even after the device is deauthorized, it will still try to connect. This is why some tools can continuously send «deauth» packets if you leave your computer on.
This is not a real way to permanently remove someone from your network and force them to stay disconnected.