Home Network Scanners

If you have a broadband connection in your home you have a network. You may not have much connected to that network, but it is still there, ready to connect devices. I have a bunch of devices connected through my home network including a weather station, all kinds of television equipment and the usual computers and iOS devices. Just recently I needed to know if a new device I had purchased was seen by my network. So, just how do you do that.

Network Scanners

There is a type of App out there called a Network Scanner. You can find lots of them on the Mac App Store. They have varying degrees of sophistication, but generally they provide information on the devices attached to your network among other things. 

I have a weather station at my home. To monitor this station on my Mac I had to purchase a Wi-Fi device which plugs into my network and talks to the station. This Wi-Fi device became outdated. I replaced it with a ‘new and improved’ version. I attached the new Wi-Fi device to my Mac and went through the procedures of connecting it to my home network. However, I was not sure the device was seen on my network. Then I remembered I had an App called iNet Network Scanner ($17.99 in the Mac App Store). This is not a review of this software per se, I just wanted to show you how I used it to check my new device.

When you first open the App it is a good idea to click on the “Scan” button top left corner of the App window to force the App to re-connect to all your devices including any new ones:

Re-Scan Button

Once you do the scan you get a window listing all the devices connected to your network by the IP address of each device (had to block out a bunch of addresses for obvious reasons):

iNet Listing

You can pick out some of the devices by their name. Other times, the name is just the manufacturer of the device which was the case for my weather station Wi-Fi connector thingy. In that case the device will have a MAC address. I was able to obtain the MAC address off the device and locate it in iNet Network Scanner. The Wi-Fi connector was seen by the network.

The reason I went through all this network troubleshooting was because the new Wi-Fi device did not seem to be working. After I determined it was connected to the network using the above process, I decided to just wait a bit and see if it started working. After about 10 minutes it did start working and I was able to monitor my weather station in my iMac web browser.

Conclusion

A network scanner type App can come in handy. It certainly is not a must-have App, but if you have tons of stuff on your home network like I do, it might be a worthwhile investment. If I have time, I may do a more in depth article on iNet Network Scanner, we will see.