If you use wireless internet at home, you probably have several devices connected to your network. It’s so easy to keep piling on additional devices, too: your new laptop, another video game console, a new tablet or even your friend’s phone.
However, with your Wi-Fi network being so ubiquitous, you may begin to lose track of everything that’s connected, or worse, notice things that don’t belong. There may even be users who have tried to connect to your Wi-Fi network without your permission or knowledge.
This is bad news for a few reasons. Someone could be stealing your network bandwidth — or your personal information. Luckily, there are simple ways to determine which devices are connected to your network, and you can prune what should and shouldn’t be there.
Use your router’s online interface
This is a relatively simple (and free) way to get an idea of who’s using your network. You can log into your router to see the most up-to-date information to see which devices are connected. Most models will support this as it’s a pretty universal feature.
First, you’ll need your computer’s IP address. Tap or click here to learn how to find it.
Once you have it, type the IP address into your browser’s address bar. You should be brought to your router’s menu. You’ll need to log in with the custom username and password for your router, or the default information if you never set one.
Once you’re in, check for a list that says “DHCP Client” or “Connected Devices.” From there, you’ll be met with a list of devices currently using your network. If you see something you don’t recognize, change your Wi-Fi password and reconnect only the devices you trust. It’s a pretty lengthy process, but one worth doing.
Use Advanced IP Scanner
If you don’t feel comfortable digging into your network, you can always have an app to do it for you. Tap or click here to learn how to use Advanced IP Scanner.
Advanced IP Scanner is a free and reliable option that delivers swift results with very little input from you. It’s compatible with both PC and Mac, so you’re covered no matter what system you use.
To use Advanced IP Scanner, all you need to do is download and install it, then run the program to analyze your wireless network. Just click the large green button that says “SCAN.” It will commence a network scan to show you all the devices currently connected to your Wi-Fi.
It should only take a few seconds, and you can even export your results for safekeeping. This is a great method for anyone less comfortable with tech, especially since it’s fast and easy.
Use Acrylic Wi-Fi Professional
If you’re looking for something with a lot more oomph, try Acrylic’s Wi-Fi Professional app. You can choose between the free and paid options, and it does a lot more than just allow you to see what devices are on your Wi-Fi network.
The free version gives you information on up to five devices, while the paid version gives you info for unlimited devices. It can also help monitor traffic on your network, manage passwords and much, much more. This would be a fantastic business solution, or a realistic option for anyone with multiple networks.
Now, it may be high time to consider hiding your wireless network from your neighbors – and all the strangers who might be snooping around. Tap or click here to learn how to hide your wireless network from others. 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 a lot more vigilant about that.