How to Check Your Entire Home Network for Vulnerabilities

This guide will show you how to use a safe and reliable (and free!) app to scan your home network for vulnerabilities.

It’s unlikely I’d be able to introduce this tool better than the folks who created it, so from the Bitdefender Home Scanner page

Bitdefender Home Scanner is a free tool that scans your Wi-Fi network, maps devices and identifies and highlights network security flaws. Bitdefender Home Scanner looks for weak passwords, as well as vulnerable or poorly encrypted communications. It correlates the information gathered from your connected devices with online vulnerability databases and gives you a thorough report so you can ensure maximum security for your network.

Let’s jump right into installing, setting up and using the app! As long as you’re running Windows 7 SP1 or later, you’re all set.

  1. Head over to the Bitdefender Home Scanner page, locate the Free Download button and give it a click. Save the file to your Downloads folder and then run it when the download is complete. When the installer opens make sure to review the Terms of use (yeah right) then place a check in the Terms of use box. If you want to Send anonymous data back to Bitdefender, leave that box checked – otherwise remove it. Finally, click the START INSTALLATION button.
  2. After a few minutes the installation should be done. Click the START USING HOME SCANNER button.
  3. You’ll need to create an account so enter the required information in the spaces provided and then click the CREATE ACCOUNT button.
  4. Now you’re ready for the first scan. Make sure you’re actually connected to your home network and then click the YES, THIS IS MY HOME NETWORK button.
  5. When prompted, click CONFIRM
  6. Bitdefender will now scan your home network. This may take a few minutes – now wouldn’t be the worst time to grab a cup of tea or coffee.
  7. After it’s identified all of the devices on your home network, it will begin to scan each device.

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  9. When the scan is complete, Bitdefender will notify you via a small pop-up window. Click the CLOSE button to review the results.
  10. The first thing to do is review the column for items that have a POTENTIALLY AT RISK or AT RISK status. If one (or more) devices is displaying one of those statuses, click it to get more information.
  11. In all likelihood, there will be a review of the problem with a link to even more info. Make sure to review it all.

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  13. Depending on the problem, Bitdefender will probably give you a few ‘next step’ suggestions to resolve any issues.

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  15. An additional (and fantastic) feature of Bitdefender Home Scanner is that if you leave it running (in the System Tray) it will notify you each time a new device connects to your home network. You’ll also be given the option to scan that device to check it for any vulnerabilities it may have (which could in turn spread to devices on your network).
  16. If you do opt to have a newly connect device scanned, it only takes a small fraction of the time it took to do the initial ‘complete’ scan of your home network.

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  18. You can run the App every once in a while to scan your network as new vulnerabilities are discovered etc (it will notify you of any updates when you run it).
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