Would the local network administrator in my dorm be able to figure out that I'm using a WLAN router to access their wired internet connection? Assuming I'm not broadcasting the SSID.

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Tracking down a rogue access point Apr 29, 2020 at 19:53
  • Possibly. If it against the terms of use, do not do it. Apr 29, 2020 at 19:53
  • Yeah. But the WiFi here is so bad for gaming. I wanted to use the LAN on Phone. Creating an access point was the option I had. Looks like it's better not to do it. Apr 29, 2020 at 19:58
  • I just read "I wanted to use the LAN on Phone." - what does that mean? That would not be good for gaming, if you mean what I think you mean...
    – schroeder
    Apr 29, 2020 at 20:30
  • The wired LAN here has a better speed. I was just wondering if i could get an access point out of it using a router and use for gaming. I just figured out Windows 10 does give a Hotspot option, but the speed is drastically reduced. Apr 29, 2020 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


Possibly. The local network admin can simply just walk around with a laptop and Wifi Packet sniffer like Kismet or NetStumbler and can pretty easily see any traffic is being generated within range. Not broadcasting your SSID won't protect you. Even if the traffic is encrypted, the MAC addresses aren't. MAC addresses are easily correlated to a manufacturer, like say Sony.

If you then record the MAC address, and look for it on the local LAN, you could then trace it down to an individual port, and an individual person. Even if you hide the MAC addresses behind a router, if your traffic goes across the wired LAN it'd still be possible to do traffic analysis, and correlate WiFi Traffic with traffic that then appears on the local LAN.

The short answer is, WiFi Traffic isn't a secret, and you can't easily hide it from anyone in range to pick it up.

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