How to Block WiFi Signals in a Room? How About a Neighbor?

  • By: Josh Koop
  • Date: June 23, 2021
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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In an age where network security along with family security is among the most essential parts of daily life and the most important security measures you need to consider, limiting your WiFi Network to only where you need it is critical. So, that leads to the question of how do you block WiFi signals in a room?

Wifi is incredibly sensitive and is deterred by metal above all else. The WiFi waves are not able to penetrate metal and instead will be “reflected” or “bounced” off the metal and thus be unable to reach areas you wouldn’t want them to when metal is implemented to prevent it.

Without this means of protection, you could find yourself opening yourself up to network attacks or basic security risks and network interference. As such, finding a way to limit your network to only the spaces you need it, especially in complexes like apartments, townhouses, or otherwise shared spaces, is essential.

Depending on your budget, there are more than a few methods to which you could block the WiFi from getting out of a room either permanently or temporarily. For example, you could use aluminum foil to block wifi signals, as are Mylar emergency blankets if the metal side is facing the correct way.

The Mylar blankets, for example, are a great method when hung correctly but are a temporary solution as they both take up space in the room and impact the appearance of cleanliness in the room.

To a similar extent, the tinfoil option — though effective — is a temporary solution, as attaching metal to cardboard or to other surfaces before putting them around the room to block the WiFi has the same issue as the Mylar blankets with the unfortunate addition of easily wearing, ripping, and falling apart.

There are more expensive options that could save the room’s appearance and the risk of adding unnecessary clutter if that is a concern. One such product is the Wi-Fi blocking paint.

This paint is made by mixing aluminum-iron oxide into the paint, thus preventing any outside wifi signal from getting in and your own from getting out.

This paint is meant to block higher-bandwidth communication methods, such as Wi-Fi. This paint can block up to 100GHz, where Wi-Fi only operates at 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

Essentially, how this paint works, is that the metal within the wifi blocking paint is resonating at the same frequency as the signals it’s blocking does, so these signals can’t pass through this thin layer of paint.

This method of blocking signals within the room is already being considered commercially, like at movie theaters, as actually jamming wireless signals is illegal, but having the paint to prevent the signals from getting into the theater is not.

How Do You Ensure Your Signals Remain Blocked?

Though the use of all of these methods, your main goal is to keep the signal your wifi is emitting from getting out of the spaces you want it to be in. Whether it be for your own mental or physical health to block the WiFi into a room, or for security purposes, none of these tips work if you’re not implementing them properly.

These are a couple of essential things to keep in mind while implementing any of these solutions, especially in regards to the tinfoil and the Mylar blankets.

  • The positioning of the Wireless Router
    • One thing you need to consider, especially when using the two more temporary solutions recommended is where you position your wireless router.
    • The best place is to keep the router as close to the barrier as possible. Since wifi signals are projected in all directions, keeping the router closer to the barrier prevents the signal from getting past or around the barrier — and thus into the room you’re attempting to block off.
    • This method also prevents the barrier from being in a position that blocks multiple areas that you didn’t intend to block. As such, it’s strongly recommended that you keep the wireless router closer to the barrier.
  • Decorations
    • Though not strongly recommended, as tinfoil is so easy to damage, you can still put decorations over the areas blocking the signal.
    • It won’t affect their ability to prevent the signal from getting past. Essentially, if you’d like, there is nothing wrong with putting fabric or decorations over the paint, the blanket or the tinfoil.
    • In the case of the two temporary solutions, if you’d like to cover them up so that they aren’t so glaringly silver and reflective in your room, you can put fabric over them without allowing the wifi signal to get past the metal underneath.

Can You Block Devices from Wifi?

Whether you’ve noticed a neighbor in your apartment who suddenly gained access to your WiFi somehow, or have someone living in your home who lost WiFi privileges, there are many reasons to want to block a device from WiFi.

Depending on your need or situation, there are a few methods to do this. An easy way to get someone off your WiFi after they’ve gained access is to change the password; however, this solution cannot be worth the effort in some cases.

Changing your password would make it tedious to get all of your own devices back on, as you would manually need to reset the password on everything connected.

Moreover, if whoever you’re trying to block gained access without knowing your wifi password, they could do it again. As such, in many cases, it is much more worthwhile just to block the device you want to keep off your wifi. How can you block these devices?

Blacklisting By Device MAC Address

This is the method I use the most often and sometimes paired with other methods listed below. This is as simple as signing into your wireless router and adding your wireless MAC address, this is unique to your device and makes it difficult for them to spoof, or clone, it.

This is typically the simplest but it takes time and is one where when you change out your phone, computer, or other device you will have to remember to sign in and add the new device to this list or they won’t be able to get online.

Blacklisting By Device Name

One of the main ways to keep a device off your WiFi is through the direct use of your router. Many WiFi routers give the option to block unrecognized devices simply, usually through a single button.

In general, you need to seek out the “device management” section — or your routers equivalent –and then you should be able to find a list of connected devices.

Essentially, all you’d need to do is find the device that is listed along with your own devices and “block” the user. In general, it should be that simple, but every router is a little different, so it wouldn’t hurt to look up the guide or manual to your specific router if you’re struggling to find this option.

Third-Party Tools

If you want a more sweeping solution or a solution with more options in general, one method of blocking unwanted devices is through a third party application like Faraday fabrics.

Some third-party network tools give you more options than your router does when it comes to controlling your WiFi’s user allowances. For example, some third-party applications can do the following,

  • Block unrecognized devices even before joining your network
  • Send notifications when a new device is added to or on your network.
  • Easier viewing of a list of all of your users on your network
  • Troubleshooting, speed tests, and other diagnostics all available in real-time
  • Recognition of IP addresses, device names, model, vendor, MAC address and manufacturer
  • Network security alerts to both your phone and your email.

Through the use of a third-party tool, it can make your job a lot easier when it comes to ensuring the safety of your network. Additionally, it helps you avoid the risk of unknown devices from getting onto your network without knowing — regardless of their intentions.

There are many situations where you may find yourself needing to keep a closer eye on your wifi network. Thankfully, third-party applications exist exactly for that purpose to solve that problem.

Final Thoughts on How to Block WiFi Signals in a Room

Simply the best way to block unwanted users is to learn how to specifically how you can filter out devices from having access to your wireless network. MAC address filtering is available on every wireless router I have owned and continues to be the most simple way.

Take time to learn the admin console for your wireless router and make sure to change the default username if they allow and you ALWAYS change the password. Once you do this you will be more secure by default.