Upon setting up your Wi-Fi network, there are a number of devices that have access to it. Not to forget, these include all the smart home appliances as well. Even if not, you should still be constantly checking for any unknown and strange devices on your network. There can always be a suspicious one hidden with the gadgets you use.
First and foremost, this is not a security concern but instead, those devices connected to Wi-Fi are constantly scanning for available networks around themselves so as to find the best one. Just like that, your device is scanning other nearby networks, your Wi-Fi network similarly is being detected by the devices around. To avoid getting your devices hacked or losing data you should look for Wi-Fi protection.
If your Wi-Fi is password protected, there are low chances of an unknown device on your network of someone with ill intent. Most often it is an older device you might not use anymore like a smart home gadget. You can identify it with an IP address and remove it by disabling Windows Connect Now.
There are a number of ways you can help overcome your concerns after having identified any unusual devices connected. Follow the article below in having all your questions answered.
How to Identify Unknown Devices on your Network?
An IP address lets you find any sort of unknown devices trying to connect to your network. Unknown IP addresses also show up and this is how you do it on Windows:
- Go to Start
- Tap on Settings
- Click on Network and Internet
- In the panel on the left-hand side, spot Ethernet and click on to it
- Select your Network Connection
- Note your IP address displayed in front of you
You may also want to get the IP address of an unknown device connected on your Network. Here is how you do that:
- Go back to Network and Internet
- In the panel on the left-hand side, spot Wi-Fi and click on to it
- Go to Hardware properties
- Note the IP address displayed right in front of ‘IPv4 Address’
Also Read: How To Test Ethernet Port in 2021
How to remove Unknown Devices on your Network?
Removing devices off your Wi-Fi Network can be done in a number of ways, of which all of them take a couple of steps. Here is how you do it:
Disabling WPS on your Router
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) is what is responsible for sending out information regarding the availability of a Wi-Fi network and so disabling it will solve the issue for all the devices connected. The basic helping hand that WPS offers is allowing connectivity to the Network without demanding the Security Key or Password that you have set up on it.
Some of the routers do not have the option of enabling WPS which makes them comparatively safer. In case yours does, and you are looking for how to disable it, here is how you do that:
- Go to your Browser
- In the URL bar that appears, put in your IP address mentioned on your router or else the manual to it
- Click Enter
- Type in the Security Key or Password that you have set up
- Disable WPS on the interface that appears next
- Save changes
In order to remain extra vigilant even after, make sure to regularly change your Wi-Fi password and also not to share it with anyone who shouldn’t have it.
Disabling Windows Connect Now
The Windows Connect Now feature allows you to see what devices are feeding onto your Network. It isn’t that focal point of the setup and so disabling it, won’t be causing any specific harm to you or your connections. When working to disable it, here is how you do it:
- Press Windows and R
- Type control admintools in the dialogue box
- Click OK
- In the section of your administrative tools, click on Services
- Look up for Windows Connect Now
- Go to Properties
- Go to General
- Click on disabled from the startup type options
- Click on Stop, just beneath the Service Status
- Press Apply
- Press OK
After doing this, you will no longer know of the devices potentially available to be connected to your Network. You will now have to share the Wi-Fi password with anyone you feel like sharing your Wi-Fi with.
Wireless Network Connections and How They Work
An IP address (Internet Protocol Address) is assigned to you when you connect any device to your network. This mostly ends with an ‘xxx’ which can be any of the numbers between 1 and 255.
These addresses are generally generated automatically and tend to change over time. This is mostly when the device drops off and later reconnects to the same network. It’s called the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
If you’re not a fan of the above you can also use the Media Access Control address. Here, the manufacturer assigns a unique IP address. These External IP addresses are what help identify the devices on your network. This way, all the devices connected to your network will be having unique internal IP addresses. And at the same time with the same External IP address.
This is all you need to know about the network addresses and connection mechanisms. Now you can easily get to know about the devices on your network.
Why do you see Unknown and Strange Devices on your Network?
If you see strange devices on your network, it is likely that your Wi-Fi has a Protected Access Protocol in effect. Wireless Network owners also connect to the Network on hand. Thus, devices you see trying to hook up to your Network are the ones showing up as unknown and strange.
When a foreign device tries to join in on your Wi-Fi network, it sends off some of its information to the router to gain access. This information will always include the Media Access Control Address, Model, Manufacturer, and Model Number but not the IP address. Failing to attain the latter means that it has not managed to connect to your Wi-Fi network, but the effort to do so made it appear in front of you.
As for Windows 8 and 10, ‘Network’ in the File Explorer shows off a list of all the devices connected to your network.
Apart from these, there is also a list of the possible devices in the vicinity that may ask for Wi-Fi. This is exactly why you will continue to see such devices even if you choose to have your Network connection hidden.
How to stay safe from issues concerning Network Security?
If you are doing something important on the internet, then your security should be on top of your concerns. Do not click on any sort of suspicious links or responding to scam emails as you may end up having your Network connection hacked and data lost.
Make sure you change your Wi-Fi password as well as the Wi-Fi name on a regular basis so as to trick anyone who is trying to keep track of your connection. Keep it simple so as to avoid any sort of unnecessary attention. Even if you happen to face issues, make sure to have your data backed up at the earliest.
Have your software and hardware all up to date, preventing any internal issues from arising and then leading up to issues with connectivity. Having updates turned on automatically is a good option as well. Better safe than sorry, you may also like activating the firewall as a defense against any impending danger to your Network.
In case none of the aforementioned happens to work, the trouble may be in your PC. Restoro Repair helps scan and detect errors in your system so as to fix any of the issues that you are facing. To download Restoro, click here.
Keeping a check on the potential strange devices on to your network, helps you stay one step ahead of any trouble so you can counter it. You never know as to what the device is up to on your Network until it actually ends up doing something and once it does, all your data is automatically at stake.
Keep an open eye on your Network Settings and the devices in the vicinity and you’re then all safe to carry on with your tasks online. Good luck!