Really confused on this one (neighbors router showing up in my network)

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Phil McCrevis, Dec 3, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Phil McCrevis

    Phil McCrevis Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Posts:
    97
    Location:
    US
    Well I have looked everywhere and simply cannot find the answer to this so I thought I would ask here. My router is down stairs in the den (netgear WNR1000) that I got from ISP comcast (dell 620 desktop connected via Ethernet cable) . I have a couple wireless devices that connect to the router and also a desktop pc (dell 580 desktop ) that is upstairs (using a netgear WNR1100) wireless adapter.

    For some strange reason my next door neighbors router started appearing in my networks infrastructure as seen in the pic below (his is the WNR2000v2), I have taken every measure I can to secure my router including an extremely strong password and passphrase (using WPA2-PSA AES) so I really doubt that someone hacked into my network and is doing something like spoofing my router. I used inSSIDer to confirm that it is my neighbors router.

    At first I though the neighbors router was unsecured and my wireless adapter was just automatically detecting it however I soon realized that it was encrypted using WPA2-PSK AES. The only thing I can think of is that the router my neighbor is using is a very similar netgear router and that my wireless adapter is somehow recognizing it and adding it to my network infrastructure. My PC that is down stairs and hardwired to the router is not showing my neighbors router in the network infrastructure, only my PC that is upstairs and using the wireless adapter is detecting the neighbors router.

    Is there any way to remove the device (neighbors router) from my network infrastructure so I no longer see it? This is making me extremely paranoid and am about to just get a new router and wireless adapter to see if that resolves the issue.

    ANY HELP / ADVICE WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!



    **BLACK ARROW INDICATES NEIGHBORS ROUTER**
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Phil, I think it's normal. You can't connect to it or vice versa. Try to connect to the SSID (from the Taskbar icon) and you will be asked for a password.
     
  3. Phil McCrevis

    Phil McCrevis Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Posts:
    97
    Location:
    US

    Brian, thanks for the response. What I don't understand is why all of a sudden this is showing up, in the last two years or so I have not seen any devices in my network infrastructure other than mine.
     
  4. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Posts:
    1,273
    Most likely your neighbor's router switched a WiFi channel to the same you're using. Recent routers have a poison pill - automatic channel switching. So you setup yourself on what looks like a channel many aren't using, but they switch and you see them. All you are seeing is their SSID. If you can see MAC, you can disable it in your router. So long as you can connect to your router and they can't connect to yours you're ok. When you start having trouble connecting to your own router because their signal is stronger or you goofed, well, that's trouble.
     
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    I don't believe that is a problem. Automatic channel switching does NOT change your security settings. If it does, that's a severely broken/compromised wireless router. And whether disabling SSID broadcasting is considered a viable security step or not, it is considered a security setting and would not change just because the router (really the WAP - wireless access point that just happens to share the same case as the router) changes to a better channel.

    I suspect the neighbor just bought a new router, or simply enabled SSID broadcasting so he could add a new wireless device to his network and forgot to disable it again - or simply decided to keep it enabled because it really does NOT keep you more secure if disabled.

    Note if you lived in a crowded apartment complex, you might see dozens of wireless networks. That is normal.

    Your big concern should be (1) you changed the default wireless "passphrase" to something very strong and (2), you enable the highest security you can.

    They are NOT in "your network infrastructure". SSID broadcasting simply "announces" the presence of the wireless network. This is exactly how Internet cafe's, airports, and "hotspots" announce their presence so customers can sit and drink $5 cups of coffee and read their email.

    To give yourself a warm fuzzy all is okay, enter your router's admin menu and look at "connected devices". You should only see yours.
     
  6. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Posts:
    4,047
    Location:
    USA
    Are you sure this is the neighbor's device? Right click on it and click properties and see if it has an IP address. I bet it does, and if so it is something on your network.
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    It may also be showing your Ethernet side and your wireless side as separate - which they are.
     
  8. Phil McCrevis

    Phil McCrevis Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Posts:
    97
    Location:
    US
    Thanks for the comments so far! I went ahead and reset my router and entered in a new password and passphrase, also changed many other settings. Password and passphrase are very similar to this: VZUyE2y099mIp6EOspqopvJqWkOhzGnd21Qvfk8d9NsC7Ih35eAcUaAJCrpA00H (generated from perfect passwords and changed a few random characters). NAT SPI are enabled, SSID is on because a couple devices simply won't work unless it enabled, UPnP disabled, WPS disabled, MAC filtering enabled, WPA2-PSK [AES], channel set to 1 (lower traffic), I'm sure that I have forgotten something however those are my basic settings.

    After I reset everything and entered the new password / passphrase the neighbors device was still showing. Guess I will just have to live with it being there. :doubt: Below is a screen shot of the neighbors device, 99% sure it's his cause I knew all the surrounding devices and when my neighbor moved in not to long ago I noticed within an hour of the comcast guy arriving that a new wireless signal appeared and it was very strong. I can see when I look at the properties of the device and compare that to what I see on inSSIDer that it is not one of my devices. Also the device in question in not reporting a (local) IP address when I view the properties.

    I did check attached devices in my router and saw only mine, also checked my routers logs and did not see anything from the router in question (MAC address). On top of that I even ran wireshark for a bit mid day and that MAC did not appear at any time. So I guess all is good.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    Are you sure? I have found some new (to my network) devices need SSID enabled so they can "discover" the network. But once discovered and configured, SSID broadcasting can be disabled again and the devices will connect with no problem after that. Not all devices work that way so trial and error testing is needed to sort that out.
    You say that as though it is a bad thing. It is not. It is simply showing you other wireless networks in your neighborhood. It does not, in any way, suggest a security issue, nor does it suggest he can see you (that would depend on how strong your wifi signal is when it reaches his antenna).

    If really concerned (and that is NOT a bad thing), stop using wireless and go Ethernet only.
     
  10. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Posts:
    2,331
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    I suspect its showing because its an unsecured router, its show as a router that you COULD connect to.
     
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    I disagree. Just because you can see a WAP (there is no such thing as a wireless router) that does not mean you can connect to it. You still must have the log in credentials - even if they are still at the defaults.

    For wireless access to be unsecured, the user must disable the default pass phrase and allow full access. That does not happen right out of the box.

    Again, broadcasting the SSID is NOT a security issue just as disabling the SSID does NOT make you more secure or keep a badguy from seeing your network.
     
  12. Phil McCrevis

    Phil McCrevis Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Posts:
    97
    Location:
    US
    Positive, tried on several different occasions and could not get it to work.
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    2,265
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    Okay. As long as you tried. I note if I want to sync my old Palm T|X via wireless, I too have to keep SSID broadcasting enabled. No big deal.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.