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What is a MAC address?

What is a MAC address?


What is a MAC address?

A MAC address (short for Media Access Control) is a string of numbers and letters that identifies a network device.

Our devices need to know the addresses of every device and network you’re connected to if you want to connect to the Internet or send and receive information. That’s why we have IP and MAC addresses. An IP address identifies your network connection. Similarly, your devices are also identified by their MAC address.

Every connected device has a network interface card, or NIC, that allows it to connect to the network. Each NIC card manufacturer provides a unique MAC address. Therefore, MAC addresses are sometimes also called copy addresses or hardware addresses.

The MAC address is necessary for the successful interaction of local network devices. When it detects a router, your device sends its MAC address to establish a connection. Your router will then assign you an IP address and let you connect to the Internet. The difference between MAC addresses and IP addresses is that MAC addresses never change and are only used in the local network, while IP addresses identify network devices globally and can change based on your location.

What is my MAC address?

Most MAC addresses consist of 12 letters or numbers across 6 pairs. For example:



Here’s how to find your device’s MAC address:

How to find MAC address on Windows 10:

1. Press Windows key On the keyboard, type “cmd”, and press Enters

2. When the command window appears, type β€œipconfig /all” and press Enters

You will see a list of your adapters. Each will have a file physical address The letters and numbers next to them are the MAC address of the adapter.

How to find MAC address on macOS:

1. Click Wi-Fi icon at the top of the screen and select Open Network Preferences in the dropdown menu

2. On the next screen, tap advanced

3. Select a file hardware Tab at the top to see your MAC address

How to find MAC address on Android:

1. Go to Settings And Network and the Internet

2. Press WIFI Select the network you are connected to

3. Press advanced, and under Network details You will see your MAC address

How to find MAC address on iOS:

1. Go to Settings And general

2. Select on and scroll down. Your MAC address is listed as Wi-Fi address

How does your MAC address make you vulnerable

MAC addresses are generally secure because attacks are difficult to perform and require extensive technical expertise. However, it can be used to monitor your location, disable internet access, or even perform a man-in-the-middle attack.

track your location

Companies and organizations have used people’s MAC addresses to track their locations. As you move your device from one Wi-Fi point to another, it is constantly broadcasting its MAC address to connect to new points. In a large facility (such as an airport) or a city, a unified Wi-Fi system can be used to track users’ locations and gather information about their movements.

However, doing so requires access to a lot of Wi-Fi hotspots that are usually only available to large businesses or organizations. MAC address tracking isn’t always so sinister, either – sometimes, it’s simply used to measure the speed and flow of traffic.

But technology can also be misused. In 2013, an advertising company in London used Wi-Fi-equipped trash cans to detect and track MAC address movements. Targeted ads tracked people across the city in response to their online movements and habits.

Disable or impersonate you

A hacker can use your MAC address to impersonate you and hijack your credentials. Unless you set up your home router securely, they may use special software to find out your MAC address and connect to the same Wi-Fi network.

Some routers use MAC addresses to filter access, which can be a strong security strategy when combined with other technologies. However, on its own, it is highly vulnerable to MAC spoofing. All a hacker needs to impersonate you is your MAC address, which your device regularly broadcasts when searching for or making a connection.

How to protect your MAC address

It is difficult to effectively use your MAC address to attack you. The MAC addresses of your devices are difficult to associate with your identity because they rarely travel past the first network device they connect to.

However, in case of error, it can become a weak point. Additionally, some local networks, such as those at your job or school, can use MAC address filtering to block certain online content.

Totally blocking your MAC address is not really a good idea because you won’t be able to connect to any other network devices and get online without it. However, there are a few different techniques that you may want to use to stay secure or private.

1. Turn off Wi-Fi on the go

As you go through the day, your MAC address is broadcast to hundreds of networks. Even if you don’t connect to any of them, your device will still send its MAC address to discover and list surrounding networks for you.

If you are a responsible, security-minded user, you only connect to networks you trust (and use a VPN for the rest). If so, you don’t have much to lose by turning off your phone’s Wi-Fi when you’re not using it.

Not only will you be safer for it – you’ll also enjoy long-lasting battery life. After all, constantly searching for connections and submitting your MAC address can be stressful.

2. MAC spoofing

This solution will be different for each device, but it can be one of the best ways to secure your gadgets. When you spoof your MAC address, you are assigning a fake address to your NIC.

Don’t forget that this process may disable anything that requires your device to have a specific MAC address. If you’re connected to a router that has whitelisted your MAC or with a broadband cable that only allows a certain number of devices to connect, changing your MAC may disrupt your connection.

MAC spoofing can also be part of a hacker’s toolbox, so some system administrators might not be very happy if they see you do it. Use this method with caution.

Noticeable: Always write down your real MAC address and keep it safe so you can change it back when you need to. Some devices will restore your original MAC address when they’re done spoofing while others won’t. Repeat the same steps when you want to change it back to the original.

How to spoof a MAC address on Windows 10

1. Hold Windows key and press X Then click device Manager

2. Expand network adapters And right-click on the file Ethernet or wireless adapter, select Properties

3. Under advanced Tab, scroll down in File Property List and click locally managed address

4. You will see your MAC address below Values. You can delete it and paste your new MAC address

5. Restart your computer, and your MAC address will be changed

How to spoof a MAC address on macOS

1. Turn off Wi-Fi

2. Run the program Applications app and click Services

3. Open a file hall Implementation

4. In a new window, type or paste “sudo ifconfig en0 ether XX:XX:XX:YY:YY:YY”. Replace Xs and Ys with the MAC address you wish to have. Hit return key and enter your password

How to spoof a MAC address on Android

For it to work, you will need a rooted Android device.

1. Go to Google Play Store and download two apps: Terminal and BusyBox

2. Open the app, type “su” and press Enter

3. Type “ip link show” to find the interface name

4. Type “busybox ifconfig yourinterfacename hw ether XX: XX: XX: YY: YY: YY”. Use the actual interface name and replace Xs and Y with the MAC address you wish to get. Hit Enter key

5. To check if your MAC address changed successfully, type “busybox iplink show yourinterfacename”

How to spoof a MAC address on iOS

We strongly advise against spoofing your MAC address on iPhone. This requires a jailbroken device and making major changes to the operating system, which, if done incorrectly, could leave you with an unusable device.

3. Random Mac

Instead of assigning a single fake address, MAC randomization allows you to cycle between random fake addresses when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. Once connected to a network, the randomness stops to maintain a stable connection.

As far as MAC security is concerned, this is probably the best method to use. It prevents your MAC address from being distributed to every device but it doesn’t interfere with the connections you want to make.

As of 2014, Apple implemented MAC automatic randomization in their products, so you don’t have to do anything. Most Android and Windows devices have this feature as well, but you may need to check if it is turned on.

How to randomly arrange MAC addresses on Android

If you have Android 5 or later running on your device, the MAC Random feature is built in. Here’s how to activate it:

1. Go to Settings And Network and the Internet

2. Press WIFI Select the network you are connected to

3. Press advanced and under Privacy, Determine Use random MAC

How to randomly pick MAC addresses on Windows

1. Press Windows key and click on Settings icon

2. Select Network and the Internet and click WIFI

3. Click on the network you are connected to and under random device addresses Determine employmentAnd turning off, or daily change

You can repeat the same steps for any network you use.

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