I've started working for a company that demand I use a wired ethernet connection while working for them. I work from home, and they're based in a foreign country, so they're not likely to be sneaking around my house watching me while I work. My question is whether they can tell from their end if I'm using a wired or wireless connection from my laptop to my router.

  • 4
    What will it cost you if they find out you are using wireless? – Michael Frank Jul 12 at 21:43
  • Do you need to install specific software on your computer to do your job? Like a VPN? In which case there could be "anything" bundled up in that software to do local diagnostics. Can they connect remotely on your computer? In which case, it is trivial for them to see your connections (even if their requirement is kind of silly, as even if you are wired, any other parts of your link to the Internet could be wireless without your knowing or control; if it is for security reasons, this is not achieving the result expected). – Patrick Mevzek Jul 12 at 22:25

There is no simple way for them to determine categorically if you are using a wireless connection, but it is possible to infer it.

the bottom line is that WIFI almost always has higher and more variable latency and more limited bandwidth then a wired connection - and use of a wireless connection can be inferred - but probably not proven - by looking at these characteristics - Some ways they may be able to do it -

If they are looking closely, they MAY be able to detect you are using wireless - particularly if you are using a VPN from your desktop. It could be possible to infer the use of wireless by looking at latency characteristics across your VPN and comparing those with latency characteristics to your router.

A very determined system administrator might also be able to make inferences by looking at web logs and seeing how your response times differ from the norm for your geographic location, and how variable they are - as WIFI connections are often quite variable. It would be difficult to use this method to conclusively prove anything though.

If you are using a company controlled website, it is possible that the company could use javascript to strongly infer things about your connectivity - but it is unlikely that they could categorically prove your connection was wireless and not a faulty network card.

  • 3
    I imagine if this is a company controlled computer, they could easily determine if the active network connection is Wireless or LAN. Get-NetConnectionProfile seems like the right PowerShell command. – Michael Frank Jul 12 at 22:09
  • 1
    @MichaelFrank Absolutely. if its a company controlled computer they could determine pretty much anything. My interpretation of the question was that it is a Bring Your Own Device Scenario. (Also, if its a corporate setup presumably they would be sophisticated enough to install a VPN, negating risks presented by any MITM interception, not just WIFI) – davidgo Jul 12 at 22:13

Your Answer


By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.