Is there a way to see a list of the other devices connected to a public Wifi hotspot, like at Starbucks?

I'm curious if this is possible by non-network administrators.


Most unencrypted wireless networks have client isolation enabled. This means that users are not aware of each other.

You can test whether or not isolation is enabled by pinging, port scanning, etc., the rest of the subnet.


Tools like NMap/Zenmap can scan open tcp/udp ports and report back what it finds. That's just one of many network auditing tools that may work on a given network.


There are multiple different ways hackers and unethical individuals use to monitor public traffic connected to public wireless hotspots.

Were you expecting a list of tools you can try out yourself? You asked if it is possible. It is.

  • Yes I was expecting an answer beyond "yes, it's possible". I'm not an unethical individual, just a curious one. – CodyBugstein Apr 25 '13 at 17:42
  • Asking for software recommendations would make your question a Shopping question, which isn't allowed as per the FAQ superuser.com/faq#dontask OR if your question is just a theoretical kind of query then once again, it's not allowed as per the FAQ. There are very few ethical reasons why a non-administrator would want to see what OTHER computers are connected to a public WiFi Hotspot. So few, in fact, that providing a How-To would be akin to teaching others the basics of hacking into other computers connected to a public WiFi. Notice, I have said nothing about your intentions. – Bon Gart Apr 26 '13 at 14:12
  • And what's wrong with teaching others the basics of hacking? Your philosophy then would also extend to not wanting to teach kids karate. Honestly I have no malicious intent, I would just like to know what the possibilities are and have an idea of what the guy sitting at the other table might be doing. – CodyBugstein Apr 26 '13 at 14:20
  • I'd say that you just failed miserably to create an analogy. Teaching people karate is not similar to teaching people how to hack into other computer users at a public WiFi hotspot. Teaching Karate may save a life when attacked by a mugger or a drunk. Teaching someone how to hack into other computers at a public WiFi has no positive beneficial aspects. Furthermore, regardless of whether or not you actually have malicious intent, saying that you have no malicious intent was expected. Nervous about the guy next to you? Stop using the public WiFi for anything sensitive. – Bon Gart Apr 26 '13 at 14:26
  • 1
    I'm surprised you didn't notice the fallacy of your retort as you typed it. My analogy is sound. Karate lessons teach kids how to fight - nothing good can come of it other than defending against someone who wants to fight with them. The same is true in this context. In order to protect yourself, you have to know what can be done against you. – CodyBugstein Apr 26 '13 at 14:32

protected by Community Nov 26 '17 at 4:02

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