It becomes part of our daily routine to check different social media accounts we have online. We do it so often that we are stuck on the couch the whole afternoon and don’t even realize the amount of time spent just by browsing the internet. Minutes turn to hours easily.
You spend so much time online that you easily detect if your internet speed slows down. If your internet speed decelerates more often than usual, you might want to check the devices connected to your local network. This is when it’s time to ask yourself, “how can you tell what wireless devices are connected to your router?”
And, then, you remembered you had friends and neighbors over last week. This explains why one of your neighbors is always outside your front porch doing absolutely nothing but face his phone. Whether your internet connection slowed down, or you’re just downright curious, finding out what devices are, currently, connected to your router would greatly benefit you.
Knowing how to view the connected devices to your router gives off information on how many and what devices they are. It might get a little confusing at first since you’re gathering new information. But, it’s an important knowledge because it gives you the authority to “kick” unknown devices to have a better, stable, and safer connection.
Going back to the question “how can you tell what wireless devices are connected to your router?”, there are two common ways to do it.
I think this is one of the most common ways to find out what devices are connected to your router. In my opinion, this option is the most accessible since you don’t need a software to do it.
The only thing you’re going to need in this option is the IP address of your wireless router. Some routers have default IP addresses of either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. So, you might want to check either of the two first by typing it into your address bar.
Once you’re in, type in your username and password. If you can’t recall, now is the time to reset your router. By doing this, your router’s settings go back to default. This way, you can easily log in to your router using the default settings.
After logging in to your router, you’ll be directed to the Wi-Fi configuration page. You’ll know you’re already viewing the connected devices’ list when you see a long ray of numbers in a combination of some letters. IP and MAC addresses are the first things you’ll notice on the list since they’re the longest.
Normally, you’ll see the list under the option named “attached devices,” “connected devices”” or “DHCP clients.” Depending on the brand of your router, the connected devices can be viewed in various ways.
On Netgear routers, the list of connected devices is under “Attached Devices.” For the D-Link router users, you can find the list after you click on “Wireless” under the Status menu. On Linksys routers, the devices can be viewed at “DHCP Clients Table” under the Local Network tab. And, the list goes on.
If you’re eyeing on a specific device, knowing its IP address and hostname will greatly help. Unless you’re an IT specialist or someone who knows codes and whatnot by heart, the device’s hostname is the only information that will make sense to you.
There are some routers that don’t give out hostnames. But, don’t worry, there’s another way to answer the “how can you tell what wireless devices are connected to your router?” question. To have it the easier way, why not just use a network scanner?
Using a network scanner is another good way to find out the connected devices list. It’s free and definitely not rocket science. Some scanners don’t even require you to download the scanning tool.
Network scanners give out detailed information about each connected device. This information will tell you if the device connected to your router is valid or not. However, unlike router web interface tools, scanning tools can only detect online devices that are currently connected to your router.
There are various network scanners found on the internet. Find the best one that suits your preference, install, and run the scanning tool. Once the scanning process is finished, it should display every little information you need. Information such as device name, MAC address, the manufacturer of their Wi-Fi network hardware, and a lot more.
Diving deep into the “how can you tell what wireless devices are connected to your router?” question might confuse you a bit, especially if you’re not familiar with the information given.
Normally, you’ll see a table with information about the connected device, like its hostname and IP addresses. However, if a device that is connected to your Wi-Fi is configured with a static IP configuration, it can’t be found on your router’s connected devices. That is if your router only provided a list of devices via DHCP.
If you feel like viewing just the device’s IP and MAC addresses don’t give you anything, you can change the host name or device name on your gadget or computer. That way, you’ll know which on the list your IP or MAC address is.
Although modifying other devices’ hostnames would be a great thing so you can directly identify the devices that don’t belong to your household, unfortunately, there’s no known way to do it.
Unfortunately, finding out the connected devices to your router does not guarantee security. The given list is definitely not foolproof since anyone can set any hostname they want and even change its MAC address to spoof other devices for them to be stealthy.
Knowing the device list does not automatically let you identify who’s connected to your network unless of course, you know other people’s hostnames, and it is not something you would check regularly.
So, whenever you catch unrecognizable devices, the best thing to do is to change your password immediately. Make sure you have disabled the WPS before you do it. Since WPS is known to be weak, attackers could still reconnect to your network without knowing your password, just by using WPS.
If you’re using WPA2-PSK encryption and you just changed your password, devices trying to connect to your network can’t automatically pass through, unless they can provide the new password. So, if you have this kind of setting, you’re fairly protected.
Here at OnRampWireless, we want users to have a deeper understanding of the internet. Our goal is to encourage people not just to use it but know how it works as well. This begins with knowing the simplest of details first.