Privacy is a bygone term since the advent of internet. We are connected and we are prone to be controlled or monitored. Rather, the convenience of Wi-Fi has put our kids at the risk of accessing information that doesn’t suit their age. Not only that, your partner might get involved into online gambling or the like.
Whether it’s the case of your children accessing pornography on their devices, or your employees slacking off at office by accessing unnecessary content, or your partner, you need to be vigilant!
Is there a way to monitor our kid’s online activities? Can I see what website have been visited on my Wi-Fi? Read on to understand how you can or cannot access the desired data:
Can I See What Websites Have Been Visited on My Wi-Fi?
Yes, you can! You can access the URLs of websites visited by different devices within your house or office. But, if someone is reading an email or an article, or watching a video, you cannot see the kind of content being consumed on your device. Several sites offer data encryption services to guard your data, yet it isn’t as secure as we might expect.
However, the IP addresses and URLs are enough to figure out what content is being consumed by the users.
How to Use Router to Monitor which Websites are Visited
Surprisingly, you can configure the router in a way that it will keep track of every website that’s visited through the shared network. Once you access the log, you can view the sites visited on different devices by your family members.
If you have a Linksys router, you’ll have to enable the logging option to activate the ‘View’ setting of the browser history. Apart from that, there are a few easy steps to keep an eye on everyone, but they can vary depending upon the make and model of your router. Typically, there will only be a change in layout of the interface or option titles.
Are you thinking to spy on your sister or wife or husband? Anyways, here is a step-by-step evil guide to monitor websites visited on home network:
Step 1: Launch the internet browser on your laptop and enter your IP address in the address bar. It will be an 8 digit number, i.e. ‘000.000.0.0’. You can find it on the manual of your router.
Step 2: On the dashboard of the router, sign in by using the admin credentials. The standard credentials are provided in the manual or at the base of your device. You can change the password as per your choice to prevent others from accessing the router data unnecessarily.
Step 3: On the dashboard of your router, find the options of log settings, activity history, or Wi-Fi history viewing options. You can find a list of URLs being accessed at present or even in the past by users on your router.
5 Things You Can Monitor Via Your Router Other than Router History
Your home network equates a fortress. Tons of information can be gathered from it, including unencrypted files, personal data, and, ultimately, it will lead to devices being hijacked to be used for unidentified activities.
However, as a parent or the company’s boss, you MUST know how to extract the desired information:
- From the router dashboard, you can identify the uninvited guest that are using your home network. Check the ‘Attached Devices’ under the log maintenance option to see who’s on board. The list of devices connected to the router are listed; therefore, you can figure out if your neighbor is secretively stealing your WiFi.
- Monitor the traffic on your router. Visit the ‘Advanced Settings’ and select ‘Traffic Meter’. You can control the incoming or outgoing traffic or put hourly limits upon the users from accessing the internet.
- You can find the bandwidth being consumed on each connected device. Impose a bandwidth-limited plan, it’s a useful information for business heads.
- You can block unwanted sites and services through the router settings. You can also restrict access to specific websites or activities on certain ports. It’s a solid way to monitor web activity because it cannot be dodged from a computer. Go to ‘Content Filtering’ option and click blocked sites. There, you can enter keywords or website links to be blocked.
To top it off, you can schedule the timings of access as well or have them blocked forever. The former option is great for kids who are addicted to social media and keep using it until late night.
- Some routers offer the users the convenience of automated system that emails the traffic logs periodically. It can keep you alert whenever someone tries to access a blocked site; therefore, you can have a complete control on everyone.
What Else Can I Do to Monitor Websites, Traffic, Protocols On My Network?
Apart from the router settings, you can download free applications and tools to help you monitor the data easily. Here are the top free tools to monitor connected devices, protocols, services, ports, and analysing traffic on your network:
Microsoft Network Monitor
It’s a great packet analyser that lets you capture, view, and analyse traffic. It’s quite handy to troubleshoot network problems and various applications on the network. Such monitoring systems are perfect for firms and organisations that have a network system of their own.
Advanced IP Scanner
It’s an easy-to-use and fast network scanner to detect any network devices (especially wireless devices such as printers, WiFi routers, mobile phones) connected to your network. Surprisingly, it lets you connect to the common services like HTTP, and shared folders while they are enabled on the remote device. It lets you wake up and shut down any remote computers connected to your network. For business organisations, a private network is imperative. Having a handy tool like Advanced IP Scanner is a cherry on top.
Applications such as Spyzie are great to track the device via GPS, block access to certain websites, set up schedule for device usage, and view the browsing history. On the downside, it’s an application that needs to be installed in your device; therefore, your kids can evade the trap of it once they become aware of your tricks.
How to Hide Browser History From Wi-Fi Router
If you are using a public router or a friend’s router, you might wish to hide your browsing history from the router logs. Here are 3 ways to go about it:
1. Use a Proxy
The simplest way to hide your search is using a proxy server to keep the website addresses inaccessible for the owner. Surf the internet anonymously by following these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Open a web browser and search for a web proxy server site such as proxify.com, freesurfproxy.org, and ultrafastproxy.com.
Step 2: Enter the URL address for the site you wish to access.
Step 3: You would be able to visit the site within the Web proxy.
However, the router logs will refer to the proxy sites you are using, so your search keeps on being tracked still.
2. Opt for Tor Network
The Tor network is a popular and anonymous way to browse online safely. Tor routes the internet traffic via random series of varying servers to hide the origin of your data as well as conceal your identity.
However, it can instigate doubts in case of huge firms or security organizations that you are working with.
3. Use a VPN server
A VPN server masks both your IP address and location by rerouting the traffic through an encrypted passage. The ISP cannot collect either your personal data or browsing information.
Moreover, adding a VPN to your router encrypts and protects all the devices connected to it.