How to See Who’s On Your Home Network

This guide will show you how to see which devices are connected to your network – whether it’s a computer, smartphone, tablet or entertainment device, wired or wireless.

Using a small and free tool that works on every modern version of Windows, including Windows 10, you can easily see which devices are connected to your home network (or any network for that matter). This tool also allows you to continuously monitor your network for new connections as well, and we’ll provide instructions on how to do that, too.

  1. Start out by heading over to the Wireless Network Watcher home page. Scroll about 3/4 of the way down the page and locate the download link titled “Download Wireless Network Watcher with full install/uninstall support (wnetwatcher_setup.exe)”. Click that link (not the other download link) and save the file to your hard drive. Once the download has completed, run that file to begin the installation process, which will take under a minute. Make sure to leave a check in the box labeled Run NirSoft Wireless Network Watcher and then click Finish
  2. Once Wireless Network Watcher (WNW) launches it will begin to scan the network you’re connected to right away. The main WNW window is broken into rows and columns, the first column lists all the IP addresses WNW found on your network. WNW will try to figure out as much information as it can about the device connected to each IP address and then display it to you. As illustrated in the screenshot below, WNW was able to find quite a few devices on my network.

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  4. The only ‘issue’ is that not every device will be completely identified. One of the devices it will almost certainly be able to figure out is your router. It should also be able to gather a fair bit of information on the device you’re using to run WNW itself. Scroll through the Device Information column until you find the item named Your Computer. As you’ll see, the text in the User Text field isn’t entirely helpful, so let’s give it an ‘easy to understand’ name. Double click it.
  5. From here you can modify the text displayed in the User Text field. I named mine something descriptive – “My Windows 10 Laptop”. Click OK when you’re done.
  6. Much better.
  7. Some items on the list will be a bit more tricky to completely identify than others. For example, Apple devices are identified, but often only as Apple devices – not specifically an iPhone or iMac. To figure out which of your devices is which, you’ll have to have them handy. As illustrated in the screenshot below, I had an Apple device using the IP address 192.168.1.72, with the MAC address of 58-55-CA-3F-7C-95.
  8. So I turned on my Apple TV and went to its settings. Sure enough, it was using the IP address of 192.168.1.72 and its MAC address is 58-55-CA-3F-7C-95. Now that I know it’s my Apple TV, I was able to double-click that item and edit its User Text. Then I looked up the IP addresses on my iPhones and iPads (learn how to do that here) then Android devices (learn how to do that here) and other devices that WMW could only gather some info on.
  9. Repeat this over and over until you’re able to identify everything. When in doubt, try powering off a device you know is connected to your network and then see which IP switches to the ‘off’ state. Some devices that are often Internet connected and may be in your home include: computers, laptops, printers, phones, tablets, gaming consoles and handheld devices, DVR/PVR/TiVO and cable boxes, MP3 players, Apple TV and Android TV/Chromecast systems, media centers and even some ‘smart’ appliances like refrigerators and coffee machines. Usually WNW is able to identify the Network Adapter Company, which can be very helpful in identifying an item. For example, if Microsoft is the Network Adapter Company, there’s a good chance that particular device is an X-Box.

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  11. Now that you have WNW configured and you’ve identified the devices on your network, you can also set Wireless Network Watcher to actively monitor the network for new devices to join, and notify you when they do.
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