If you’ve ever wanted to view all the devices on your network, Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a great open-source tool for this purpose. Let’s go through the steps of using Nmap to locate devices on your network.

Step 1: Install Nmap

The first step is to install Nmap on your computer. You can do this through the official website or via a package manager like apt or Homebrew.

  • On Ubuntu/Debian-based systems, you can install Nmap via the command line using APT:
sudo apt-get install nmap
  • On macOS, if you have Homebrew, install it using the following command:
brew install nmap

Step 2: Identify Your Network Range

Before starting your scan, you need to identify the range of IP addresses used by your network. This can be done by checking your network settings or your router’s configuration.

Step 3: Running the Nmap Scan

To scan the network, an nmap command with the following syntax is used:

nmap -sn (your network range)

For example, if your network range is, the command would be:

nmap -sn

This command initiates a ‘Ping’ scan (-sn), omitting a port scan and simply discovering which hosts are up.

Step 4: Analyze the Results

Nmap will return a list of devices that responded to the Ping request, in other words, the devices currently active on your network. Each device will be listed with its IP address and, if available, its name.

By using Nmap regularly, you can keep a close eye on your network’s security, identify unknown or unexpected devices on your network, and better understand your home or office’s digital infrastructure. Remember, while powerful, Nmap should be used responsibly and only on networks where you have permission to scan.