You keep your device’s operating systems updated. You’re using internet security software. You’re pretty savvy about not falling for online scams.
Even so, malware and cybercriminals can still get through. Run this free check to see if your router has been hacked by criminals.
Your security arsenal includes a firewall. Here’s a free test to ensure your firewall is blocking access to bad actors and bots.
How many devices are connected to your home’s wireless network? A handful? Dozens? As time goes on and you add new gadgets, it’s easy to lose track of everything connected or notice things that don’t belong.
Here’s how to determine what’s on your network and prune anything that shouldn’t be. This tip is brought to you by our sponsor, ExpressVPN. Keep your web activity private with Kim’s VPN pick.
Get into your router’s admin page
This is a relatively simple way to get an idea of who’s using your network. Bonus: It’s free! Log into your router to see an up-to-date list of connected devices. Your computer has a unique IP address or Internet Protocol address.
To get started, you’ll need your computer’s IP address. Tap or click here to learn how to find it.
Then, type the IP address into your browser’s address bar. This will open your router menu. Log in with the custom username and password for your router or the default information if you never set one. Here are directions to find and change the password if you don’t know it.
Once you’re in, check for a list that says DHCP Client or Connected Devices. From there, you’ll see a list of devices currently using your network. If you spot something you don’t recognize, it’s time to take action.
Change your Wi-Fi password and reconnect only the devices you trust. It’s a pretty lengthy process, but one worth doing.
LIST: Here are all the best free Windows utilities in one place.
Use Advanced IP Scanner
If you don’t feel comfortable digging into your network, you can always have an app do it for you.
Advanced IP Scanner is a free and reliable option that delivers quick results with very little input from you. It’s compatible with Windows 10. Get a direct link to it here.
To use Advanced IP Scanner, all you need to do is download and install it, then run the program to analyze your wireless network. Click the large green button that says SCAN. A network scan shows you all the devices currently connected to your Wi-Fi.
It should only take a few seconds, and you can export your results for safekeeping.
SECURITY 101: Setting up a new device? Take 5 minutes to secure it the right way.
Use Acrylic Wi-Fi Professional
If you’re looking for something with a lot more oomph, try Acrylic’s Wi-Fi Professional app.
The free version gives you information on up to five devices, while the paid version gives you unlimited. The app can monitor traffic on your network, manage passwords, and more. It’s a fantastic business solution or option for anyone with multiple networks.
Being more aware of who’s using your network is an important step forward for your internet speed and privacy — and we could all be more vigilant about that.
Bonus: Your online activity is your business
Big Tech corporations are supposed to safely handle our personal online data, but now they’re getting into the political game. I don’t want to be any part of that and neither should you.
That’s why I trust and use ExpressVPN. These Big Tech companies match your internet activity to your identity or location by using your public IP address, but with ExpressVPN, no one can see your IP address — no one.
Protect your privacy. Get three months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.