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How to Find Your Wireless MAC Address

Some network administrators prefer to use MAC address authentication to give access to their WiFi networks, instead of handing out a shared password. It adds a layer of security, because not matter how strong or long your wireless key is, it can be easily shared by existing users at any given time. With MAC filtering, the only devices that will be allowed to access the network are those whose MAC addresses are contained in the router database (it can work the other way round as well, blocking access to devices that are listed in the MAC filter).

A MAC (Media Access Control) address is a 12 character (digits 0 -9, letters A-F) unique identifier that is given to every network interface on a device. So, if you have a device, like a computer, that has an ethernet port and a WiFi card, your computer will have two MAC addresses – one for the WiFi card, and another for the ethernet port. Think of it as a sort of “home address” that can’t be changed (but it can be spoofed!). The MAC address is also known as a physical address.

So if you want to join a network that uses MAC filtering (if you’ve ever come across a network that says it’s “open” but you are still unable to join it, it probably uses MAC filtering), you need to send the administrator your MAC address. Finding your MAC address is quite simple – just do the following:

Windows 10

  • Click on the Start Menu or Window key on your keyboard
  • Type cmd  (you should see ‘Command Prompt’ under ‘Best match’) and ENTER.
  • A terminal window will appear on the screen. Type ipconfig /all (all lower case. There is a space between “ipconfig” and “/all”) and ENTER.
  • There will be a block of information for each adapter on your computer. Look in the description field for wireless (look for something like “Wireless LAN adapter Wi-Fi” . The Physical Address for that block is your wireless MAC address.

Windows XP

  • Click on the Start Menu, then select the RUN ITEM.
  • Type cmd in the text field and ENTER.
  • A terminal window will appear on the screen. Type ipconfig /all (all lower case. There is a space between “ipconfig” and “/all”) and ENTER.
  • There will be a block of information for each adapter on your computer. Look in the description field for wireless (look for something like “Wireless LAN adapter Wi-Fi” . The Physical Address for that block is your wireless MAC address.

Mac OSX

  • Click on the Apple Menu, and choose the Location menu item.
  • Click on Network Preferences.
  • Click on the Show menu and choose the AirPort item.
  • The AirPort ID is your wireless MAC address.

MAC iOS

  • Open Settings
  • Click on General
  • Click on About
  • Look for Wi-Fi address, that’s the MAC address for your device

Android

  • Open Settings
  • Click About device
  • Click Status
  • The Wi-Fi MAC address is what you are looking for

Linux

  • In a terminal window type ifconfig and press ENTER.
  • You’ll see a list of interfaces. Your wireless interface will likely be named wlan0 or wifi0. The wireless MAC address will be in the field labeled HWaddr.
  • You can also use iwconfig to find your wireless MAC address if you have it installed.

 

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