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MAC Address or media access control address is a unique ID assigned to network interface cards (NICs). It is also known as a physical or hardware address. It identifies the hardware manufacturer and is used for network communication between devices in a network segment. MAC Address usually consists of six groups of two hexadecimal digits. Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista: Click Windows Start or press the Windows key. In the search box, type cmd. A media access control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier assigned to a network interface controller (NIC) for use as a network address in communications within a network segment. This use is common in most IEEE 802 networking technologies, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.Within the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) network model, MAC addresses are used in the medium access.
A MAC (Media Access Control) address acts as a unique identifier assigned to your Network Interface Card (NIC) for communication in a network. MAC address is often assigned to your Network Interface Card (NIC) by the device manufacturer, and it is hard-coded on your NIC. A Media Access Control (MAC) address is a unique numeric identifier used to distinguish a device from others on a network. The address is assigned by the manufacturer, for Ethernet and Wi-Fi cards. Your device therefore is likely to have two MAC addresses.
The MAC (media access controller) address is a unique identification number for your computer’s networking hardware. Generally, it just works, but sometimes you need to change it. Apple and Microsoft don’t make it easy to change your MAC address, but it is possible.
Why Would You Want to Change it?
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This setting doesn’t give you any speed or performance benefit. It’s like the phone number of your hardware. If you change it to an existing number, you’ll confuse your network.
The most common reason for changing your MAC address is some other device is locked to an old address. Your router or another piece of hardware might only accept or give out connections to a particular MAC address. I ran into this problem once connecting to my office computer. The IT help desk was closed, but I needed to connect to the network with a different laptop. Once I changed my new laptop to my old laptop’s MAC address I got into the network.
Another reason to change your MAC address is for wifi networks that limit the time or number of connections. You shouldn’t use this to bypass time restrictions on a network, but you can transfer your connection time to another MAC address. For example, you might sign up for a few hours of Wi-Fi on your tablet. Then want to use your laptop on the network. Instead of paying for another connection, changing your laptop’s MAC to the MAC address of your tablet might get you out of paying for an extra connection.Be Ethical:
Mac Address For Ps4 ControllerDon’t use this to circumvent security or cheat.
Finally, someone can track you through your MAC address. You might want to change it each time you connect to a network or just use a random address.
How to Find a MAC Address On a PC
If you’re on a PC, the easiest way is through the command prompt. Type
and you’ll see all your network interfaces and the physical address. That’s the MAC address.
You can also find it by going to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections. Then right-click on the network adapter and pick Status > Details. Again, the physical address is the MAC address.PC Command Prompt Tips: Here’s a list of cool command prompt tips. You can even install apps from the command prompt.
How to Find a MAC Address On a Mac
If you’re on a wireless network, hold down the
Select the interface you’re checking, then go to
You can also type
in terminal, and that will tell you the MAC address of all your interfaces.
The Easy Way to Change This on a Mac
The best program I’ve found for this on the Mac is WifiSpoof. It’s $9.99, but they offer a free 2-week trial. It not only makes it easy to change the address but runs as a menu bar icon if you want. It can randomize the MAC address each time it’s run. If you’re concerned about tracking, this is the app for you.
If all you want is a simple way to change the address, Mac MACSpoof does this for a $4.99 optional purchase. The interface isn’t as slick and the app requires an additional “helper” app to install.
The Easy Way to Change This on a PC
Just like on a Mac, a third-party software makes this easy for a PC. For example, Technitium MAC Address Changer is a free program that does this for you.
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What I like about this app is it lets you pick a random MAC address if all you’re interested in is changing the address for testing purposes. It also enables you to know which addresses are active.
NoVirusThanks’s MAC Address Changer is another free program. It has fewer options, but it is easier to use than Technitium’s version.Windows 10 users: Your computer’s hardware might support automatic MAC randomization.
The Direct Way to Change This on a Mac
If you feel comfortable in the OS X terminal type the command
sudo ifconfig en0 xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Replacing the XX with the number of the new MAC address.
The Direct Way to Change This on a PC
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Similar to the direct way on a Mac, this way works without third-party software. Head on over to Device Manager. Then click the disclosure triangle and find the adapter you want to change. Again remember, each type of adapter uses a unique MAC address.
After you find your adapter, click
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Remember to Change It Back
Whichever option you choose, don’t forget to change the MAC address back when you’re done. If you don’t, you might have problems on other networks. If your goal is to use a random address, you might have trouble if someone is already using that MAC address.
ALSO SEE:How to Prevent a Mac From Connecting to the Wrong Wireless Network
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Did You Know
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Microsoft holds over 59,000 US and international patents.