I was able to locate my device using horst on Linux. Other responses show how to triangulate, but not how to get the actual signal strength.
horst can do that, and perhaps
First, run horst pointing to your wireless LAN adapter:
horst -i wlan0. Then hit
e to go to the
ESSID screen and find your network.
horst will find a bunch of devices from your neighbors, so you need to start filtering. From the
ESSID screen, you can get the
BSSID value for your network (the value within parenthesis) and restart with that filter:
horst -i wlan0 -B xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx (of course, replace the
xx with your actual BSSID).
horst should be showing now only your devices. You can now sort the list by signal strength (
s), and walk around your house with your laptop, and see as the signal increases or decreases. The values are in dBm, so look for the number to increase (
-25 is closer than
If you're not sure which of the devices shown is your target, you have a few options. The simplest is to just switch down everything else: computers, tablets, phones and printers (I always forget the printer and keep wondering who's tied into my network). Another option is to run
nmap on your network, and see if you can figure out which one is your target by looking at the provided information (for example, manufacturer can be shown, sometimes, given the MAC).
Once you determine which one is your device, you can restart with
-e to look specifically at it:
horst -i wlan0 -e xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx.
horst will only update the strength of the signal on the screen as the device sees traffic, though. You can try pinging it or talking to it (sending WhatsApp messages, for example). In my case, as I had already used
nmap to find its IP and MAC, I found it easier to just put
nmap on a loop scanning it (as ping would not do):
while true; do nmap 192.168.0.10; done generated a fair amount of traffic to the IP, that allowed me to locate it just by walking around and looking at the signal strength. If you can't generate traffic on it, then perhaps you'll have to go the triangulation way.
airodump-ng(part of the
aircrack-ngtool suite) if you have a compatible Wifi card and a Linux distro up and running. You'll see something like this with the signal reception listed as
PWR(in decibels). If you keep pinging the device throughout this, you should see the
airodump-ngscreen update much quicker with the MAC address of the device. You should then be able to move around with your laptop, trying to increase the
PWRuntil you find the device.