When you setup a wireless network for the very first time, It's paramount to secure It, by Implementing an encryption key In the modem/router, thus help prevent unauthorized connections to the network. Without the key, access Is denied. Well, to a certain point, meaning anyone with the know-how can circumvent It. As such, In this tutorial, I will show you how to monitor the connections on your wireless network.
There are a few types of wireless encryption (security) protocols, such as WEP, WPA, WPA2 and by far the more superior, WPA3. Although WEP should not be used- as It can be cracked within 10 minutes (and that's on a bad day!) all help In securing your wireless network, by only allowing access to devices that authenticate with the key.
However, anything transmitted wirelessly, Is susceptible to exploitation, and cracking any of the above encryption protocols, Is well and truly possible. If this happens to you, whereby some hacker establishes a connection to your wireless network, you'd probably be completely unaware.
As a result, I will be demonstrating how to see exactly what devices are active on your wireless network, by using a couple of monitoring tools. The first Is named Wireless Network Watcher, and the second Is SoftPerfect WiFi Guard, both of which can be downloaded by clicking their links. So without further delay, let's rip Into this tutorial.
First, I'll use Wireless Network Watcher. Once you've downloaded the tool, simply execute It and allow It to scan your wireless network. It does this automatically. On completion, you will see every device connected to your network, Identified by their Internal IP address, device name, MAC address, network adapter manufacturer and more.
You can also export the results, by selecting the View tab and then HTML Report- All Items as shown below.
This will open your current browser, and generate quite an Impressive detailed report, Inclusive of the timestamp of each connected device. For security purposes, I've blurred my Identifiable details.
Although the tool continues to scan your network, If you want to Immediately view the latest results, select the File tab and then hit Start Scanning.
Now let's checkout SoftPerfect WiFi Guard. Once executed, It will prompt to select your wireless network adapter, so do just that via the drop-down menu and then hit OK.
To begin scanning your wireless network, simply select the Scan Now button. This tool Is very quick, so It shouldn't take any longer than a minute or so.
As you can see, the results of every device actively running on my wireless network, Is displayed. I did In fact have five laptops running at the time, so the tool served It's purpose accurately.
Let's face It, Irrespective of the security measures In place when transmitting over a wireless network, It's a gateway for anyone with the skill-set, to bypass and gain unauthorized access. Without monitoring software In place, any user could be sitting on your network and In the worst case scenario, compromise your sensitive data.
For the above tools to be of benefit, you need to Identify every device on your wireless network, by at least their Internal/local IP address and MAC address. Once you've familiarized yourself, keep the tools minimized on your computer and periodically check for any changes, by looking for unknown/new connections.