If you have been experimenting with the various functionalities of your wireless network, you may wonder how to change a router’s MAC address. The best routers, after all, allow for all kinds of settings changes. Why would someone want to change up the MAC address and how do you perform this task? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A MAC address is a unique identifier (physical address) that lets a network interface controller or network card decide if you can access the Internet or not, as the NIC controls address filtering.
  • Every connected device has a MAC address, from routers to computers, smartphones, tablets, and more.
  • You can change your router’s MAC address by accessing the admin panel via web browser, network settings, or firmware. This is also known as address cloning.

Why Change a MAC Address?

MAC stands for media access control, so a MAC address is a unique identifier to let your network interface controller (NIC) know you can connect to the Internet. Your router has a unique MAC address, as do all of your connected gadgets. So why change it? If your router has been blocked from accessing a specific network, changing up the MAC address can allow you to sneak through. There are also other uses, such as when you are learning how to access a router remotely.

Insider Tip

When you revert your router to its default settings, the MAC address will also reset to the original setting.

How to Change a MAC Address

Luckily, this is not an overly difficult task and certainly not as frustrating as, say, learning how to disable IPV6 on a router.

STEP 1

Make sure your Internet is connected properly, ensuring that the Ethernet cable is going from the modem to the router and that there is an available wireless connection for connected devices. Check your devices to make sure you can get online.

STEP 2

Access the router’s admin panel via a web interface (browser address bar) or by opening up dedicated firmware software. If you are lost, check the instructions that accompanied your router.

STEP 3

Navigate to the wide-area network (WAN) settings page or a similar settings page (each router may be different.) Once there, look for an option to change the MAC address. It should be clearly marked.

STEP 4

Change the MAC address to anything that suits your fancy, so long as it follows the proper format. A MAC address consists of six groups of numbers or letters arranged as such, D4-FB-6A-7C-31-B4 (just an example.) Once the MAC address has been changed, it will remain as your router’s primary MAC address until you revert the router back to its default factory settings.

F.A.Q.S

How to figure out your device’s MAC?

There are plenty of ways to look up your device’s MAC ID, including stickers on the physical body of the router or admin panels.


How to change the MAC address of a Windows computer?

This depends on your computer, though the option for address filtering should be somewhere on the network settings page or the Wi-Fi networks settings page.


Where can I find the MAC ID?

Your network hardware device, such as a router, should include the original MAC ID on a sticker located somewhere on the body. This will ensure properly running Wi-Fi networks.



STAT: Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) allow only a certain number of computers to connect to the Internet by default. They do this by “locking” the connection to the unique Media Access Control (MAC) address of your computer. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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