If you’ve come this far, you might be wondering how to detect if an unknown device is connecting to your Wi-Fi. The truth is, you can check it from your router or any other device your connection provides. Internet.
In many cases, this is your broadband router, but it can also be a WiFi Mesh network, a WiFi repeater … In both cases, you will need to connect to this device and consult the list of connected devices .
But connecting to a router is not always easy. Basically, you should have your router’s IP address handy. You can find it on any device you’ve connected, like a laptop or cell phone.
Once you have that address, you need to enter it into your web browser’s address bar (the one at the top, not in the middle of Google). An example of an IP address is 192.168.0.1, and you will need to enter it like this, without anything else.
Press “Enter” and, as long as you’ve entered the correct address, you will see your router’s web page. In this case, it is a BT Smart Hub and you can see the list of connected devices on the web page without logging in.
When checking this list, keep in mind that not only will the currently connected devices appear, but it works as a history and also includes all others that have connected to the router in the past.
You may see many devices that you do not recognize, because the most recognizable name (such as “Alba’s iPhone”) may not exist directly, or the router did not detect it.
Instead, you’ll see its IP address and MAC address, along with a “name” that will give you clues (or not) about the device it’s referring to. This is what “unknown” means: the device will not necessarily be “unknown”, but you may not be able to recognize it.
As you can see in the image, some of the names that should be more recognizable are just IP addresses, which isn’t very useful. Those that start with “ amazon- ” might be more helpful, as they might point to any Amazon device you own: an Echo, a Tablet Fire o Fire TV.
How to identify an unknown device on your network
The names that appear in the list can help you exclude those that are not unknown, and some routers allow you to filter the list so that only currently connected devices appear.
Even if you only have a few Wi-Fi devices, the list will be full of old devices that you won’t be able to use anymore or devices of friends that connect to your network when they get home. So it helps to identify those who are connected at the moment.
The chances that a neighbor or even someone with bad intentions is connected to your wifi are really rare unless you protect them with a password. Most often all routers have a unique password, so it is virtually impossible to hack.
This means that, most likely, the devices that you think are unfamiliar are devices that you have completely forgotten, whether it’s a thermostat or a smart plug, or any other device in your smart home.
How to identify them will depend on whether they have a screen or not. It is very easy to access the mobile IP address, tablets, computers and laptops. Basically, you’ll have to go to its network settings and browse through them until you find it.
Keep in mind that the IP address is usually given by your router and is not unique for each device unless you have configured your router to always use this address, which is known as static IP address.
This is where the MAC address comes in handy. This is unique for each device. It usually appears on a sticker printed on the device itself and is the best way to know which device is which device. It is made up of six groups of numbers, such as: 00: 40: 96: B1: C0: 8E.
The first six digits identify the manufacturer of the router, so you can look at pages like MAClookup.app to find who was responsible for making the device you’re trying to identify.
This should shorten the list. And once you’ve identified what it is, you should be able to change the device name on your router so that you can identify it more easily if you need to check the list again. ‘to come up.
You may also be able to associate an icon with each device in the list, which will always allow you to more easily identify which mobile, Tablet, computer, laptop or smart device.
If you can’t find a device’s MAC address or IP address, one option is to disconnect it from the network and see if you can identify which device is missing from the list of devices connected to the router (you may need to refresh page).
What to do if you can’t identify a device that’s connected to your Wi-Fi
The easiest way to stop a device you don’t know from using your Wi-Fi is to change your router’s password. This means that you will have to enter the new password for all the devices you use, which is not ideal.
Most routers have the ability to filter by MAC address. When you enable it, you will get a list of devices that you allow to connect to the router. It also means that you will have to manually enter the MAC address of all of your devices, which is also not ideal. You may be able to block specific MAC addresses, which will be more convenient.