I share the same wireless router with some other people living in the same apartment. I want to safeguard my privacy and also not be held liable for their internet activity. The modem from the ISP only allows connecting one router to it. What can I do in this case?

Will connecting another router to the current router or changing the router configuration help me?

EDIT: I would like to add that I own the router and not the other way around

  • I would probably use Tor - (The Onion Router) Mar 19, 2021 at 18:03

4 Answers 4


To protect your own communication with the internet against sniffing by other on the same local network you can use a VPN, i.e. the typical VPN for private use which starts the VPN connection at the local system and has the VPN exit somewhere on the internet, outside of the reach of the other users of the same router and of your ISP.

Protecting yourself against liability issues this way is not possible this way though. All users behind the same router share the same external IP address and thus everybody able to use this WLAN (i.e. knowing the password and being locally present) will be suspect. While the external sites will see only the IP address of the VPN exit and not your original external IP address when using a VPN, it is likely impossible to prove that you've actually used a VPN all the time.

  • @user123123123 - As Steffen stated. Also if someone on the network attracts Law Enforcement warrant attention, standard practice is to seize every computer-like device in the house. If it's a real concern, maintain off-premise backups. Mar 19, 2021 at 17:30

IMO. If you have admin access to your router, I would create different networks for you and them and strongly password protect it. Then create firewall rules that doesnt allow traffic from their network to yours. If you can log traffic by device that would be recommend as well. This may make it easier for law enforcement to count your devices out of an investigation.


Adding another router or a wifi access point behind the router will certainly work to create a physically separate network just for you. You can buy these cheaply or you can even get a Raspberry Pi or other smaller configurable device to do this.

If you want an extra bit of protection you could:

  • Buy or configure the device with a VPN
  • Buy or configure the device with multiple networks to segregate your traffic from theirs
  • Do all of the above and let your housemates use the VPN, too to hide your house's IP from whatever nasty things they might do

I'm seeing a wireless AP with a built-in VPN for under £35 at a major retailer.


If you pay for/manage the internet connection:

To ensure someone else's internet traffic who's on the same network doesn't trace back to you, you could configure your router to force all traffic through a VPN for certain devices. That way, it would be more difficult to trace anything illegal that someone else does on your internet connection back to you. Make sure to choose a solid VPN provider that has solid encryption and doesn't keep logs.

The article linked below is specific to NordVPN, but the instructions will be applicable to any router, you'll just need to input different VPN credentials and certificates.


If you are using someone else's WiFi:

Since you don't have any control over the network, you should always use a VPN to prevent anyone else on the network from intercepting your data. I would also change the MAC address of your device (if you can) because if the router keeps logs, it will normally store a copy of it in a log, which could be used to identify your device.

  • Not possible? What constraints are you seeing? Endpoints can have a VPN. You appear to assume that the best or only place for a VPN is on the router. Why is this the assumption to make?
    – schroeder
    Mar 19, 2021 at 19:25
  • @schroeder I just updated the answer to provide more detail. Basically, most home routers don't have this functionally because, for home use, it's not really needed. Yes, a client PC can have a VPN installed, but what if they forget to turn it on or don't want to use one? Mar 19, 2021 at 20:23
  • Huh, get everyone else to use a VPN? This makes even less sense. The OP could use a VPN on the devices the OP uses...
    – schroeder
    Mar 19, 2021 at 20:55
  • @schroeder It's not forcing everyone to use a VPN, it's forcing traffic on the router to route traffic over a VPN at the router level. No one would need to install a VPN client. If the people sharing his wifi did something illegal, the IP traced would the VPN IP not the OP's. I offered a solution that would protect everyone's internet traffic without requiring everyone to install a VPN client. Mar 19, 2021 at 20:59
  • Then you are answering just one facet of the question but your state that part not very well. What you mean to say is "To ensure the other people's internet traffic doesn't trace back to your shared IP" "To you" is a different problem.
    – schroeder
    Mar 19, 2021 at 21:03

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