Having roommates can be good practice for when you eventually become an adult. Whether you are living with a roommate for the first time or you’re changing roommates, the experience can be awesome!

Sure, clashes may happen. They are bound to, given that you are individuals that share different interests and possibly come from different backgrounds. Sharing WiFi with roommates is one such area where you might come across some problems.

Am I a bad person for not wanting to share my WiFi?

Nah! There are a thousand and one reasons why you may not want to share your WiFi, especially when the requests become incessant. Sometimes it may be that you are on a tight budget and sharing will impact you financially. At other times, it may be that you don’t see any reason to share when your roommate also has an active internet subscription.

Perhaps you already specified what things and roles you would like shared in your roommates’ agreement. Maybe it is that sharing makes you feel cheated. Whatever the case, not sharing WiFi with your roommate does not make you a bad person.

How to know if someone is stealing your WiFi

Even if you don’t want to share your WiFi, if you’re not careful, your roommate can still access it. Here are three ways you can recognize if someone is stealing your WiFi

1. Check your indicator light

This is perhaps the easiest way to know if someone has unauthorized access to your WiFi. If your router’s light is on even when all your wireless devices are off, then you know that someone has hacked into your WiFi.

2. Check your router’s device list

Type in the specified router IP address into your browser. Once you are logged in, look for ‘Attached devices’ or ‘Device list’. If you notice any IP address other than yours on the list, then someone is using your WiFi.

3. Check your security settings

If you notice that your roommate is sharing your WiFi without authorization, then you may need to make your device more secure. You can do this by utilizing the WPA2 or WPS security alongside a complex password which you must update regularly.

Related: Find out who is stealing your wifi and how to block them

What if I want to share my WiFi?

There is nothing wrong with sharing your WiFi as long as it doesn’t become an incessant or everyday thing. So by all means, go ahead. However, should the sharing request from your roomi become frequent, consider asking your roommate to contribute to the subscription from the outset. If you are both going to pay, then have some form of agreement on usage proportions, because chances are that your internet consumption won’t be the same.

Challenges to expect when sharing WiFi with roommates

Several challenges arise when more than one person is using the same internet connection. Some of the most common points to tackle when you’re sharing WiFi with your roommates are listed below.

1. Network speed

Network speed slows down dramatically when more than one person is connected to it. This is especially true when the individual is engaged in a bandwidth-draining activity like online gaming or video streaming. You can fix this by choosing an internet provider with more bandwidth. The more the bandwidth, the less the lag and the faster your browsing experience will be.

2. Security

That you are sharing with your roommate alone does not mean the network is not visible to your neighbors. This means that others can as well try to access your internet connection even without authorization. This means that you must encrypt your wireless signals to prevent unauthorized access. Set up a password that no one can guess!

3. Illegal activities

If your network provider detects any unlawful activity on your service, the bandwidth will be throttled until the illegal activity stops. Unfortunately, only the person whose name is on the wireless network contract can be held responsible. Make it clear in advance that illegal activity is not acceptable, in a roommate agreement.

Can my roommate see my messages when we share the WiFi?

Not possible. They may be able to check what apps or websites you’re browsing sometimes, but they would not be able to see your activity on the apps or website. This is because most internet connections and apps are encrypted to make them secure.

Bottom line

Whether you choose to share your internet with your roommate or not, ensure you discuss it. If you can’t, make your reasons clear. And if you can share, have that discussion and agree on who pays what, when, and how this will affect usage. This will go a long way to ensure that sharing your WiFi with your roommate (or not) doesn’t become a reason for an argument.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers learn to share WiFi with roommates? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match!