How to See All the Devices Connected to Your Network
Chances are, you have more devices connected to your home network than you think. Between computers, phones, gaming consoles, and Internet-of-Things devices, the amount of items add up. The average Canadian household now has 10 or more devices connected to the Internet – all at the same time!
So how do you see all the devices connected to your network?
Log Into Your Router’s Web Interface
The best way to see all the devices on your network, along with other relevant information, is to log into your router’s web interface or online control panel. To do this, you’ll have to type your router’s IP address into the address bar of your browser, where you’ll be prompted to enter your password.
If you’ve never done this before, you can check this handy guide on how to find your router’s IP address on any kind of computer or smartphone. Your router may be using its default password, which can be found – in the user manual, printed on the bottom of the router, or given to you by whoever set up the router for you. (If this is the case, take a moment to change your password from the default to something more secure. In all seriousness, there’s nothing riskier than relying on your router’s default password—except for having no password at all!)
Look for Connected Clients
A “client” is tech-speak for a device like your laptop or smart TV. On the web interface, look for a button, listing, or option for “connected clients”, “attached devices”, “connected devices”, or “DHCP clients”.
Note:The information you might see may look a little strange. You’ll see a list of IP addresses, MAC addresses, a rough description of the type of device, and if available, a device name.
For example, if you have a PlayStation, you may see the device listed as Sony Interactive Entertainment. Or if you have an Apple laptop you’ve named “Alice’s Computer”, you may see that name listed.
In an ideal world, all devices would have clear names as “Alice’s Computer”. Sadly, this isn’t always the case and you may have to do a little sleuthing. Once you’ve figured out which device is what, many router pages let you edit information or give devices nicknames. Hence, you can rename the listing for Sony Interactive Entertainment to something like My PlayStation.
Remove Suspect Devices
You probably have a lot of devices on your list. If there are devices listed you can’t identify, you can remove or even block them from connecting to your router.
Of course, if after you do this you find that you can no longer print wirelessly or adjust your thermostat with your phone, you’ll have tracked down the mystery device. It’s pretty easy to connect a device to your network and then forget that you have done so. But it’s also just as easy to reconnect them..
What Do I Do with This List?
The most important thing about seeing the full list of all the devices on your network is it gives you an idea of how many in your household are competing for bandwidth. The more devices you have streaming video, running online video games, and managing household appliances, the better the case is for upgrading your home internet plan – and your router – to something more robust.