How to See Who’s Using Your Wi-Fi

Having a secure Wi-Fi network is extremely important to your internet safety. If you suspect there’s someone using your Wi-Fi network, you need to find out about it. You might be wondering, “Why does it matter if someone else uses my Wi-Fi?” There are a number of reasons.

It’s true that your internet will run slower when more people are using it. However, this is really the least of your worries. Slow Wi-Fi is only a symptom of a much bigger problem. If there’s an unwanted guest connected to your network, that person will be able to access data from your computers and other devices connected to the same Wi-Fi. This puts your information in jeopardy.

We want to help you figure out who’s connected to your Wi-Fi network so you can keep your data safe and protect your privacy online. Stop wondering why your connection is so slow. Instead, follow these tips and figure out if there’s someone else connected to your Wi-Fi.

Check your computer or router’s interface to see who’s using your network

There are two main ways you can check to see who’s using your Wi-Fi. First, you can check by using your computer and going to Google WiFi Help. You can check how much data your device is using from uploading and downloading.1

You can also view which other devices are connected to your network and how much data each has used in the past 30 days.1  Google even provides you with details such as IP addresses of all devices connected to your network.

The second option is to go through your router’s web interface. This is actually a very reliable way to check because your router is what devices connect to to use your Wi-Fi.

You should be able to access this information by going to your internet service provider’s website (ISP) and logging in to manage your router. Look for an option that shows connected or attached devices. Another option to access your router’s interface is by using your IP address.2 Type your IP address into your browser to bring up your router’s interface.3

Download an app to help you scan for devices

If you keep running into dead-ends by going through your computer or router itself, you should give these apps a try. The Fing App is free and allows you to check which devices are connected to your Wi-Fi network. You can also check internet speeds and troubleshoot your devices this way.

Another good free app is NetSpot. You simply download it to see if there’s any unwanted devices connected to your Wi-Fi network.

Apps like these can help you figure out why your Wi-Fi connection drops when you’re not expecting it and whether your Wi-Fi slowdowns are normal. Sometimes Wi-Fi is just running really slowly because there’s a lot of devices connected to the network and a lot of people using your Wi-Fi to begin with.

How to secure your Wi-Fi network

Make sure you set up a network password for your Wi-Fi if you don’t have one already. It’s important to keep your Wi-Fi network private with a secure password. Stay away from using a password that your neighbors can all easily guess.

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Stay safe online
We should talk more about internet security because more and more people share private information online. If you’re curious about how to stay safe while online banking and shopping, educate yourself about internet safety, and check out our tips for protecting yourself online.

Whether or not there’s someone using your Wi-Fi, you should check into using a reliable virtual private network (VPN) even when you’re just using your home Wi-Fi. A VPN can increase your internet security by encrypting your data and tunneling it to a server in a private location. This makes it much harder for hackers to steal your information and see which devices are connected to your Wi-Fi. For more information on VPNs, check out this article on what a VPN is and how to use one.

Sources

1.  Google Wifi Help Center, “View Devices Connected to Your Network and Review Data Usage.” Accessed November 18, 2020.
2.  Chris Hoffman, How-To Geek, “How to See Who’s Connected to Your Wi-Fi Network,” December 13, 2019. Accessed November 18, 2020.
3.  Whitson Gordon, PC Magazine, “How to See Who’s on Your Wi-Fi,” April 6, 2020. Accessed November 18, 2020.