Most of us contend with a number of networks each day. There’s the network at home. The network at work. The Wi-Fi network at Starbucks (or any other public Wi-Fi network). And rest of the internet we connect to our networks.
How do you know what’s connected to your network? At home there might be a Mac or two, an iPad or two, a couple of iPhones, maybe Apple TV, and a printer. But what else? And how would you know what they are? If you’re curious, there’s an answer.
Out Of Sight And Mind
One of the reasons I’ve come to love network scanners such as iNet Network Scanner is because my internet connection at home is metered. Download too much from the interwebs and the meter ticks higher and so does the monthly bill.
iNet Network Scanner is one of a handful of Mac scanner apps which tell you what is connected to your local office or home network. To find out, just open iNet Network Scanner and it will begin scanning your network and then display the devices it finds.
The app acts as a Bonjour Browser and finds most of the devices that are connected to your local network and perhaps sucking up more bandwidth than you would like. It scans for standard ports, acts as a typical Network Scanner, and even monitors Airport (but does not capture bandwidth usage per device.
You’ll see a list of connected devices, the device vendor name, and both the IP address and MAX addresses. But iNet Network Scanner does more than just find, and sometimes what it finds isn’t obvious upon first glance. You can assign your own names and icons to a device to make it easier to identify what’s visible.
iNet Network Scanner not only displays connected Bonjour services in real time, it also views and displays detailed information about each service.
There is a caveat if you’re an Apple Airport user. The all-important SNMP protocol has been removed from the 2013 Airport with 802.11ac so the app cannot display certain usage stats and Wi-Fi strength. One can only wonder why Apple chooses to remove such a useful feature.
The ways to scan your home or office network are many. Here are a few others you may find interesting and useful. NetSpot finds Wi-Fi problems. Wi-Fi Explorer tracks devices on a network with pretty usage charts. Wi-Fi Scanner does the same but also has a speed test built-in.