Wi-Fi connection is a common part of everyone’s home these days, as connecting to the world will be impossible without it, especially when you’re home most of your time. Despite using it regularly, you might be neglecting a few things. Ever since you installed your Wi-Fi network, you must have connected various devices and have allowed many people to have access to your network connection. Remember every time you shared the password with your friends, guests, or visitors; so, the list of devices connected to your network is endless.
If you are unaware of the connected devices, you should check everything from time to time to ensure legitimate connections only. Sometimes, a lot of suspicious devices disguise themselves as legitimate ones. To identify the real and known devices, use the following guide:
Check Connected Devices with Your Router
Most Wi-Fi connections in household routers have a dedicated web interface from which one can access the desired information about the router, external internet connection, and connected devices. In most cases, you only need to enter 192.168.0.1 as your IP address on your browser. If this doesn’t work for you, then use the Command Prompt on Windows to find the IP address of your Wi-Fi. Insert ‘ipconfig/all’ command, and search for the Default Gateway address.
Log in to your account for accessing this interface. If you’ve never made any changes, then the credentials are set to defaults, and the username will be listed as ‘admin.’ However, we would recommend you to tweak the credentials to make it more secure. From the Device Connection Status setting, you’ll find the list of all the devices currently connected to your router, including wireless and wired connections. This setting might have a different name on your router based on the brand, firmware, etc.
From the list of devices, click on each connected device to check their device name, IP address, and MAC address. You can easily identify your smartphone, laptop, etc. but the smart home devices and other older devices will appear in the form of jumbled characters. If you find any unidentified device, turn off all your network-connected devices one at a time. The remaining devices on the list are not your devices, and these shouldn’t remain connected to your network either.
Use Wireless Network Watcher (WNW)
Windows PC users have automatic access to various ways of identifying devices on their home network. Wireless Network Watcher (WNW) from NirSoft is one of the best methods to incorporate. This software scans the network you’re connected to and shows you a list of devices with their MAC and IP addresses. You can even export the list in HTML, XML, CSV, or TXT. Wireless Network Watcher doesn’t require you to log in to the router to check anything, and it automatically refreshes the list.
Some of its other benefits include getting an alert every time a specific device is added to or removed from your network. Its software records all machines seen on the network and the number of times each device has been connected. You can either install the tools on your computer or run as a portable app without installation.
For a much better and easy checking on the cross-platform devices, it is better to use Fing. It is a desktop and mobile software that helps you keep track of all the devices connected to your network, and allows you to manage everything across multiple networks on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS devices. After installing it, run the Network Discovery feature to get a detailed list of all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. You can either use Fing locally on your device without creating an account or sign up to access stored networks on any device (but those devices should have Fing installed in them). Due to this, you can sync multiple network configurations, set email alerts, and run internet speed tests recorded to check all the changes. Fing is available for free to use on all types of devices.
The reasons for securing your network are endless, but it is important to know all the connected devices and prevent any harm that the unsolicited devices may cause. All of this will ensure a secure Wi-Fi and internet connection, and it will prevent others from freeloading your data.
Emily Johnson is a creative person who has been writing blogs and articles about cybersecurity. He writes about the latest updates regarding mcafee.com/activate and how it can improve the work experience of users. His articles have been published in many popular e-magazines, blogs, and websites.