1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Filter MAC Addresses To Secure Your Wireless Network

Block Unknown Devices From Connecting To Your Wireless Network


Wireless Broadband Router
Alexandru Magurean/E+/Getty Images
If you have changed the default SSID you have added a piece of the puzzle that an attacker would need to figure out before they could connect to your wireless network, but why stop there?

Most wireless network routers and acces points contain the ability to filter devices based on their MAC address. If you enable MAC address filtering, only the devices with MAC addresses configured in the wireless router or access point will be allowed to connect.

The MAC address is a unique identifier for networking hardware such as wireless network adapters. It is possible to spoof the MAC address, so an attacker could potentially capture details about a MAC address from your network and pretend to be that device to connect to your network, but no casual hacker or curious snooper will go to those lengths so MAC filtering will still protect you from the majority of users.

You can find the MAC address for your network adapters on your devices by following these steps:

  1. Click Start and then Run
  2. Type command and press Enter
  3. Type ipconfig /all in the command prompt window and press Enter
  4. Find the line labeled physical access address in the resulting information. That is the MAC address for that adapter.
  • If you have more than one network adapter you will need to look at through the results to make sure you get the MAC address from the correct adapter.

Refer to your owner's manual for the wireless network router or access point you are using to learn how to access the configuration and administration screens and enable and configure MAC address filtering to protect your wireless network.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.