Seeing who is on your Wi-Fi

December 14, 2023

If your internet is running slower than usual or you suspect someone has gained access to your Wi-Fi here are 2 ways to look at all devices connected to the network and boot them off if they are unauthorized.Wi-Fi free loaders could not only be slowing the connection down but could be a real threat to your privacy. Anyone connected to the same network as you have access to the other devices as well. Man in the middle attacks for instance let a user impersonate the gateway (router) so all traffic flows through the attacker’s device letting them capture what you are doing and steal credentials. There are also legal risks, if the user is surfing illegal sites or downloading movies illegally the ISP could come looking for you and not the attacker.The first stop to finding out who is connected is signing into the router or modem providing the service. Usually this is but may vary. Check the bottom of the device and it usually will have a IP address and sometimes the login.

The UI on each device varies but you will want to look for the device listing or a network map as Asus names it.

Here you can see the device’s name, Mac Address and how it’s connected whether it be wired or wireless.Make a list of the device you own and compare them to the list on the router. Some will be easy to identify but others may not be so I could be a process of elimination. Another way is to power off or disconnect all devices you own and check the list making sure to refresh after and see if anything remains. Remember these days everything is wifi capable so be sure to check your watch, vacuum or even a light bulb that could be connected. Devices are only able to connect if you provide the network name and password so if it’s not something you setup it shouldn’t appear on the list.If you do not have access to the router or gateway due to ISP restrictions, we do have another way. Download a free app called Softperfect Network Scanner from here - installed open it up and enter the range to scan. This can be found by looking at what IP address you are getting from a command prompt when you enter the command “ipconfig” and press enter.

In this example our IP address is so in the network scanner we will enter a starting address of and ending then press start scanning.

The tool will begin probing each of the IPs in the range and will give you information about it such as the mac address, IP address and in most cases the hostname that we need to identify it.

Just like above once we narrow down the legit devices we can see if anything shouldn’t be connected.So we have found a device that isn’t ours what now? Well this is actually the easy part most of the time. You will want to change the network password on the router. If you don’t have access to it your ISP might have to do this for you. Make sure to make it as long and random as possible to make it harder to crack. Making sure the security type is WPA2 and not WEP or WPA1 which are less secure and easy to hack.

Also while you are in the settings look for a WPS setting and make sure that’s disabled. WiFi protected setup (WPS) provides a easy way to link a device using a button on the router. When the button is pressed a device can search for and retrieve a PIN as a replacement for the network password. This is often attacked though since the pin is only numbers and far less combinations than the password you set so it’s best to leave it off.

Once you reset the password all devices that are connected will be kicked off and will require the new password you set to reconnect. You can update the password one device at a time and check the scan or routers portal to confirm nothing suspicious shows up.