Once upon a time, you knew exactly what was connected to your home network: your desktop, a laptop maybe and perhaps even your mobile phone. These days, keeping track of networked devices – from printers to smart TVs – can be a painful task.
If you’re wondering what’s currently connected to your home network – perhaps you’re worried about security, or surprised at how slow your internet speeds are – then you need help. And if you’ve got an Android, iPhone or iPad, help is delivered in the form of Fing – Network Scanner.
Fing – a clever amalgamation of the “Find” and “Ping” commands commonly used to detect and benchmark networked devices – lets you scan the network you’re currently connected to and delivers a complete list of currently connected devices, both wired and wireless. Each device is displayed with its IP address, name and manufacturer (if present – typically you’ll be shown the manufacturer’s name at least) and MAC address.
Tap Refresh at any time to update the list – devices that go offline aren’t removed, but appear greyed out. Tap a device to jump to its own summary screen, where you can add your own identifying notes and apply a suitable icon depending on the device type.
You’ll also find a useful Scan Services option, which lets you see which ports the device is using, an additional security measure on top of being able to see what devices are connected, in case someone is using your internet connection without your knowledge.
You can also ping the device from here to see how responsive it is, plus – if supported – tap Wake On LAN to wake up compatible machines remotely.
Tap the network name on the main screen and you can label that too, and even place it on a map. The reason for doing this is because Fing supports more than one network, allowing you to monitor and analyse multiple networks.
Fing is also backed up by a cloud-based service called Fingbox, which costs around $8.30 per month for its entry level Home package, although a free 15-day trial is available within the app itself. Benefits of subscribing include the ability to sync and back up networks across multiple devices, Remote Discovery and Service Monitoring. Certain functionality – such as the ability to view a device’s log files from within the app – is also unlocked. For most, though, the app’s free functionality is more than enough.