Determining What is Connected to a Customer LAN
Here is a good question:
At a recent POTS to Pipes you told us of the story of the customer that was upset with his local telephone company due to his internet being really slow, etc., and you had went through some steps that you could use to verify how many appliances a person actually has in their home using the internet, whether it was a WII, Playstation, etc. I was wondering if you could provide me with those steps?
Also, your seminar was a very enjoyable one. Walked out of there with a lot of collected information.
Thanks for your compliment and great question.
OK. The objective is to locate the number of appliances that are active at someone's site. Naturally this is a delicate issue as we discussed. Nevertheless there are a couple of things you can do.
When I am connected to a local area network, I am in what we call a broadcast domain. We can all see each other if we are on the same LAN. Therefore we can exchange packets directly.
One way to find out what is connected to the broadcast domain is to issue a 'ping' to the broadcast address of that domain. For instance if you click on START> RUN> enter 'cmd', then from the Windows command line type 'ping 192.168.1.255' you have just sent a ping to all the people in your domain. You will receive responses back from every connected appliance plus the default gateway, plus yourself! A note or two here:
Second, records of the packet source/destination addresses are kept in tables, both in the switch/router/gateway (e.g. Linksys, D-Link, Netgear) as well as in the computers attached to those boxes. The records are the IP and MAC addresses of broadcast packets we have seen on the broadcast domain.
On a PC you need to be at the command line: START> RUN> enter 'cmd' . When the window opens you can enter any of the following commands:
Hope this helps!