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How to Identify Unknown Devices Connected to Your Network?

Last Updated : 30 Jan, 2024
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Many times, when you sign onto your network and start your work you may find that the YouTube video is stuck on a buffering loop and sometimes the website takes more time to load, which will slow down your work. Now when you try to look into the devices connected to your network you may find an unknown network or device connected to your Wi-Fi network which is consuming the bandwidth leading to a slowdown of your network. So, you must first try to identify these unknown devices to remove them.

Is Your Internet Slow?

If your internet is slow someone might be stealing your Wi-Fi, especially your neighbors who don’t want to pay for an internet connection to connect to your network. Devices like computers and smartphones are always searching for better Wi-Fi networks, even when connected.

But what if someone is using your network for the intended purpose of gaining unauthorized access to your system or device? Despite security measures like WPA i.e. Wifi Protected Access, hackers can still connect to your network and can alter communication between devices on a shared network, gaining unauthorized access to sensitive information and putting your data at risk.

So It’s not just about sharing or slowing your internet bandwidth. It’s about your data security and putting your data at risk. It’s crucial to stay aware of who’s accessing your Wi-Fi and block unwanted guests for safety.


How to Identify Unknown Devices Connected to Your Network?

Every device has a unique address called IP (Internet Protocol) address on your network using which they connect to the internet. Every device on your network can be identified, even unknown IP addresses on routers, using the IP address. 

Check For All Connected Devices On Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Method 1: Check Unknown Devices Using Router’s Web Interface:

  • Open a web browser and enter the router’s IP address.
  • Log in with credentials.
  • Navigate to the “Device List” or “Connected Devices” section.
  • View a list of connected devices with details.

As you find your device list, there may be a chance that you don’t recognize the name of every device connected to your network. Some devices of your devices will have identifiable names, but others may come up as an unknown or random string of letters and numbers. Now take a count of your internet-enabled devices to compare with the list you find to find out the unknown devices.

Method 2: Check Unknown Devices Using Terminal/CMD:

Command “arp -a” Displays the ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) table, showing IP addresses and corresponding MAC addresses of devices on the network.

  • For Windows:
    • Open Command Prompt as an administrator.
    • Enter arp -a.
  • For Mac:
    • Open Terminal.
    • Enter arp -a or arp -an.
  • For Linux:
    • Open Terminal.
    • Enter arp -a or arp -n.

You will view a list of IP addresses and MAC addresses of connected devices on your screen.

Method 3: Check the Unknown Device Hostname Using its IP Address

The “ping -a <IP Address>” command provides the corresponding hostname using its IP address. you can identify the device by using its IP address and MAC address, the information can be obtained by pinging the device on your command prompt on your Windows Devices. This is done by following steps (For Windows): –

  • Open Command Prompt/Terminal.
  • Type “ping -a <IP Address>” and press Enter.

Check For All Connected Devices On Android and iPhone:

Method 1: Using Router’s Web Interface:

  • Connect to the router’s Wi-Fi.
  • Follow the above steps specific to the router.

Method 2: Using Scanner Apps:

  • Install a network scanner app from the Play Store or Apple Store.
  • Open the app and scan your local network.
  • Identify connected devices and view their details.

Some commonly used tools are: Auvik, Intruder, SolarWinds, NetScan Tools Pro, and NMap.

Method 3: Using Settings:

  • Open “Settings.”
  • Tap on “Wi-Fi” and select your connected network.
  • View “Connected Devices” or “Device List.”

Tips To Secure Your Network From Unknown Devices!

Preventing a problem is often simpler than fixing it later. Securing your network is important not only to prevent unwanted usage by internet stealers, resulting in low bandwidth but also to protect it from hackers. Therefore, safeguarding your network from unknown devices is crucial. Here are some simple tips:

  • Scan your home network at regular intervals to remove the devices that you see as fit.
  • Always create a strong Wi-Fi password and try to change it after a while.
  • Update your default Wi-Fi SSID (Service Set Identifier). 
  • Disable WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) through your router’s admin panel.
  • Enable New Device Approval.

There are many benefits to using a home Wi-Fi security system. To get more such tips check out this detailed article on how to Protect Your Home Wi-Fi Network!


Most of the time, finding some unknown device on your network isn’t going to cause any problems for you. But it is not proper for someone to use the service you are paying for, even when that device could be someone you’ve given access to before, and you don’t recognize their name. Also, there are chances for malicious persons to steal your data, so one should always be careful about taking all the above-mentioned precautions.

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