Finding the router in my house

Hey everyone,

I just moved into a new house, and there is a Wi-Fi network showing up on my devices with the SSID being my address. I am looking to see if there’s a router in here that I don’t know about. Do you guys know how I can try to find the physical location of the router?

One of your neighbors might be trolling you for any of several reasons. Do realtors do this sort of thing temporarily?

I recently ran across some apartment and townhouse complexes in another state (Florida) that provided internet service as a utility, in some cases as part of the base rent and in others as an add-on. They tended to identify the network by the address/unit. Could it be something like that?

That’s what I’m hoping. My landlord was surprised when I mentioned the network, but the signal strength (all 3 bars of wifi) makes me suspect that there is something inside the home. I’m just looking for help finding the physical router (if it is inside the home).

The only thing I can think of is look for where the cable enters the house, then follow the wires. Dunno where you are but in my area the installer will run the cable outside the house to the location where the owner wants the equipment, then poke a hole through the outer and inner walls and stick the cable through.


Turn off the power and see if the wifi goes away?


Wireless-enabled utility meter (water, gas, electric, etc.) perhaps?


How close are your neighbors? I live in a complex and my Mac is picking up 26 networks with a medium to strong signal on 20 of them.

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There’s 5 networks appearing on my phone, and this is the only one that shows 3 bars.


If you go to the electrical panel and toggle each circuit breaker in turn, noting when the WiFi drops, you’ll know the general area of where to search.

Happy sleuthing!


In the meantime, change your network to “FBI Surveillance Van” – if someone is pranking you with the mystery router’s name, that might scare them off (or at least provoke a few laughs).


If everything else fails I’d try to find a WiFi signal strength app. With that you could walk around and see where the signal is the strongest. There are several on the iOS App Store and more available for the Mac. It’s been years since I last used one so there aren’t any I can recommend. Good luck.

If everything else fails, you can use a „Bug Detector“ to search for the Signal.

Perhaps we’re over thinking this … could you ask the prior owner / tenant or landlord?


Edit: As has been pointed out, the landlord has already been asked.


Did that

Just want to point out that three bars doesn’t mean that it is in your house or even your nearest neighbors. Here’s what I see, and we are on 1/4 acre lots:

Six wireless networks with three bars other than mine.

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D’oh ! I didn’t see that post!

Never mind.

If you’ve got a laptop, I’ve used NetSpot to map my network. They have a free Mac (and Windows) version that should help you find the location of the strongest signal.

Note: the iPhone app is a companion to their professional device — it’s not meant for consumers. When I was searching for iPhone apps that did a similar thing to Netspot, I couldn’t find anything. I believe that’s because the iPhone is too locked down for it to work.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if this is actually some sort of utility wifi access, as others pointed out. Still, worth investigating!


But it is specifically ID’d with their house’s address.

Contact a local ham radio club (Google search or see if there’s one listed with the ARRL). They might have a few members who’d enjoy a “fox hunt” looking for the source of the signal.