Once you have given someone your Wi-Fi password, they have unlimited access to your WiFi, and they can join your network on all their devices. That’s how it usually works, anyway. Here is how to boot them off.
Option 1: Change Your WiFi Password
The most comfortable and most secure method is merely changing your Wi-Fi network’s password on your router. It will forcibly disconnect all devices from your Wi-Fi network, even your own. You will have to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network by entering the new password on all your devices. Anyone who does not have your new password will not be able to connect. See who is connected to your Wi-Fi.
Let’s be honest: If you have got a lot of devices, reconnecting them all will be a pain. But it’s also the only original, foolproof method. Even if you are capable of blacklisting a device on your router so it cannot reconnect, someone with your WiFi password could connect on a new device. Even if they don’t remember the password, also there are techniques to recover saved Wi-Fi passwords on Windows PCs & other devices.
For this, you will need to access your router’s configuration settings—usually in a web interface—sign-in and change the WiFi password. You can alter the Wi-Fi network’s name while you are at it, too. We have a guide to accessing your router’s web interface, and you can even perform a web search for your router’s name & model number to find the manufacturer’s manual and official instructions. Look for a “Wireless” or “WiFi” section in your router’s options.
It all assumes you have set a password on your router! Most ensure you enable secure encryption (WPA2) & set a robust passphrase. If you are hosting an open WiFi network, then anyone will be able to connect.
Option 2: Using MAC Address Filtering on Your Router
Some routers even have access control features that will manage which devices are allowed to attach. Each wireless device features a quirky MAC address. Additionally, some routers let you blacklist (ban) devices with a specific MAC address from connecting. Some routers allow you to set a whitelist of only approved devices and prevent other devices from connecting.
Not all routers even have this option. Also, if you can use it, it is not entirely secure. Someone with your WiFi passphrase could change their device’s MAC address to match an approved one and take its place on your Wi-Fi network. Even if no one does, you will have to enter MAC addresses when connecting new devices manually, or an attacker will be able to connect at any time—it does not seem ideal.
For all these reasons, we recommend using MAC address filtering.
If you want to kick a device off temporarily—perhaps your kids’ equipment—and you’re not concerned about them getting around the block, this could be an excellent method.
You will have to dig around in your WI-Fi router’s settings to see if it even supports something like this. For instance, on some Netgear routers, this is named the “wireless card access list.” On other Netgear routers such as the Nighthawk, the access control feature controls access to the internet—blocked devices can still connect to WiFi but are denied internet access. Google Wi-fi routers let you “pause” internet access to tools, but this will not kick them off your WiFi.
Option 3: Using a Guest Network in the First Place
In case you are giving guest access to your Wi-Fi network, you can make this process much effortless on yourself by setting up a guest WiFi network on your router. So the guest network is a separate access network. For instance, you could have a system “Home Base” and another named “Home Base – Guest.” You’ll never provide your guests access to your leading network.
Many routers provide this feature, calling it a “guest network” or “guest access” in their settings. Your guest network can have a separate password. In case you ever got to change it, you’ll change the guest network password without changing your primary network password & kicking your own devices off.
Moreover, guest networks can often be “isolated” from your primary system, too. Your guest’s devices will not have access to file shares on your PCs or other network-connected resources if you enable “isolation” or disable “allow guests access to local network resources,” or regardless of the option is named.
Once again, you’ll need to probe your router’s settings to ascertain if it’s a “guest network” feature. However, guest networks are far more common than access control lists.
If you’ll Access the Device Connecting to WiFi:
In the unlikely case that you’ve access to someone’s device and that they haven’t set a password or can’t stop you, you’ll remove the saved password. For instance, you’ll tell an iPhone to forget the network or delete the saved WiFi network profile on Windows.
Assuming you’ve access to the person’s device and have not remembered or written down your WiFi password, this will solve your issue. They cannot reconnect on that device unless they re-enter the password. They could view it on any other tool they have access to where the password is saved.
What About Software that Kicks People Off Your WiFi?
Search the web for this topic, and you will discover people recommending software such as Netcut or JamWifi, which can send packets to other devices on your WiFi network, telling them to disconnect.
These software tools are executing a Wi-Fi deauthorization attack to boot a device from your Wi-Fi network temporarily. Check at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_deauthentication_attack
It is not a real solution. Even after you deauthorize a device, it’ll still keep trying to connect. That’s because some tools can continuously send “deauth” packets if you leave your PC on.
It is not a real way of permanently removing someone from your network & forcing them to stay disconnected.