Last week I wrote about a way to troubleshoot your local Wi-Fi network with a nifty Mac app. A reader asked me if there is a way to identify all the devices connected to your local network; Wi-Fi or wired. Yes. As always, the price tag ranges from free to rather expensive, dependent upon your requirements.
At the free end of the scale is a cute app called LanScan. Wait. That’s wrong. LanScan has a cute logo. It’s also a very good tool to scan your Local Area Network– hence the name LanScan– to discover which devices are connected; whether mobile, printers, desktops, Wi-Fi or wired.
Scan And Count
The private school where my husband and I work in Chicago has plenty of Wi-Fi access points, dozens of wired devices connected to the various networks, and many hundreds of devices connected to those networks. Which devices? An inventory of devices gives you an idea of network bandwidth issues and capacity.
LanScan is about as simple as it can get to scan a local network to count and name the devices.
- Auto-detection of configured interfaces: airport, Ethernet, virtual interfaces, etc.
- Scan the IP range you like, from 1 IP to the whole IPv4 address space!
- Scan your local network with ARP packets
- Scan public IP network ranges with Ping / SMB / mDNS packets
- Display the IP address, MAC address, hostname (4 max) and vendor associated
- Discover the SMB domain if any configured
- Hostname resolution: DNS, mDNS (Apple devices) and SMB (Windows devices)
- Custom hostname edition
- Custom comment for each device
- Export results in CSV files
- Hide/show each column
- Align each column as you want
What you see is what you get. A list of devices connected to the network, including device details from IP address to MAC address to hostname and more.
The free version does everything the Pro version does– which has a nominal price tag– except hostnames are limited.
At the other end of the scale and decidedly for larger or more complex local area networks is Debookee from the same app developer. This app monitors and analyzes network traffic, wired or Wi-Fi. Debookee is more for network troubleshooting and bandwidth usage but also displays devices connected to the network. I’m particularly fond of the Wi-Fi monitoring module.
The WiFi Monitoring module puts your Wi-Fi network interface in monitoring mode and listens to all 802.11 radio frames around You’ll see not only Access Points, but also all Wi-Fi clients in your radio range, if they’re associated or not, and details on their connection.
Network data is monitored in real time and supports most network protocols including HTTP, HTTPS, DNS, TCP, DHCP, SIP, RTP (VoIP), and IMAP for email. This app has a try-before-you-buy option and you won’t find it on the Mac App Store because it performs some tasks that do not adhere to Apple’s sandboxed requirements.
What you’ll get with Debookee is information about which devices are using the most Wi-Fi or network bandwidth, including VoIP calls. Sweet. We’ve run into a few issues on our local network with Proxy security features, but for smaller home or office networks, this is a good way to see which devices are using the most bandwidth.