Identifying all the devices connected to your home WiFi might sound technical to many Internet users. Everyone nowadays has a WiFi network at home with tons of devices that stay connected, from phone to laptop to the smart TV to a new game console. Or even worse, some strangers log into your network and steal your bandwidth!
When you start feeling like losing track of everything, it is time to get some knowledge to check which of these gadgets are connected to your network. Luckily, it’s an easy check and you can prune what should and shouldn’t be there.
How can I see all devices connected to my WiFi network?
1. Use Your Router’s Web Interface
This is the best way to check your information. Your router is where your WiFi network is hosted, so it contains everything about connected devices. To check this information, firstly, you need to check your IP address.
To log in into your router’s web interface, you need to have the router’s IP address and type in this IP into the address bar in the browser.
How to get your IP address
The most common default IP address is 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. If none of these works, you can find it by looking at the backside of your WiFi router.
If you’re still not sure about the IP address of your router, try one of these ways
- Using the Command Prompt on Windows: Open Start menu > type CMD to display the Command Prompt > Open> Type ipconfig /all > ↵ Enter. The IP address is to the right of “Default Gateway.”
- On a Mac, choose Menu Bar > WiFi icon > Open Network Preferences > WiFi > Advanced > TCP/IP tab. The IP address is under Router.
With the IP address, type it into your web browser’s address bar and Enter. Now you have the router’s interface. Enter your username and password to log in your Wifi Clients list.
Finding the List of Connected Devices
Now it can be a bit complicated. You need to find one of the following options to click: “attached devices,” “connected devices,” or “DHCP clients”. You may find this on the WiFi configuration page or Status page. On some routers, the connecting device list may show on the main status page. Find your device in the following list of D-Link, Netgear and Linksys:
- On D-Link routers, it is in the Status > Wireless.
- On Netgear routers, it is in the “Attached Devices” in the sidebar.
- On Linksys routers, it is in Status > Local Network > DHCP Clients Table.
Many routers provide a list of devices connected via DHCP, meaning those devices with static IP configuration will not be on this list. The information about connected devices is the same between router brandings. It contains the hostname and MAC address for all the devices on the list.
Now it is time to check. If there is a device you do not recognize, you can boot it off your network. Make sure you double-check the device’s MAC address to the MAC addresses list to confirm whether it is your current device or not.
2. Scan Your WiFi Network with a Software
Apart from using your router’s web interface to check your WiFi network, you may want to try a scanning tool. All you have to do is download the tool, launch it, and the software runs on your computer to scan the WiFi network for active devices and list them out to have all the information of every device connected for active devices with names and MAC addresses. The only downside is that these apps only show the active devices – the ones that are currently online. The offline ones are not on the list.
With a quick search on Google, you may find a list of highly-recommended software to perform this task. There are NirSoft’s Wireless Network Watcher, LanScan for Mac computers, SoftPerfect for both Windows and Mac, and Angry IP Scanner available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, to name a few.
Secure Your WiFi Network
Adding to how to control devices connected to your wifi, you should secure your network to keep anyone from using your connection from any suspicious behaviors.
1. Change the Wifi Password
Regular change on the Wifi password ascertains your network security. Although keep reconnecting all your devices might bother you a bit, it will kick off any unwelcome visitors.
Remember to change the password for accessing the router settings as well. As you know, if someone knows that default password, he can reconfigure your router.
2. Disable Remote Access and WPS
If you don’t need the admin-level access (i.e accessing the router from outside of your house), you should turn this feature off. Without this feature, your remote access app still works fine.
Another feature to be disabled is the Wifi Protected Setup (WPS). WPS lets users connect new devices via a button push or a PIN code. However, it, accidentally, makes unauthorized devices get easier access as a numerical code is much easier to guess than an alphanumeric one.
So, just disable if you don’t need them.
3. Keep Your Firmware Up-to-date
Whatever router model you have, it’s worth keeping the firmware up-to-date. It will allow you to have the latest bug fixes and security patches as well as grants you protection against exploits.
Some models are able to upgrade themselves whilst some don’t have this feature. Some processes might be difficult to handle according to types of the router as well. If you get stuck, check its documentation or official support on the website.
Kick all unwelcome visitors off
Seeing all devices connected to your WiFi and having control over these gadgets are important to keep a good internet connection as the day you got it. Hope you have come to the right place to learn how to do so with this article. From now on, you can freely enjoy your life online at the speed you wanted in a safe network.