Filtering MAC Address

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The option to filter MAC address (Media Access Controller) is used to control network access based on the MAC address of the network adapter. A MAC address is a unique identifier assigned by the network adapter manufacturer. This feature can be configured to allow or deny access to the network / Internet. This option is listed in several specialized sites as ‘low security’ because of  relatively easy to skip this filter for someone with basic knowledge of wireless networks, however, combined with other security protocols can help improve this aspect.

MAC filtering takes its name from the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the network cards of different devices that are ready to connect to a network, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone. Each device has a unique MAC address that identifies your network card – if we talk about a computer with multiple network cards will have several MAC address. It would be something similar to our identity card.

MAC filtering uses a list of MAC addresses that we will introduce, ie a list of devices. Taking this list into account, there are two modes in which you can configure:

  • Allowing the connection to the devices added to the list of MAC addresses, leaving any other without possibility to connect to our network. This is quite useful when we want only certain devices to connect to our Wi-Fi, but it has the disadvantage that if we receive guests we will not be able to use our network.
  • Denying the connection to the devices that appear in the list of MAC addresses, circumstance in which any other device can connect. This form would be suitable to not allow the connection to a certain device of which we know the MAC address, for example, the mobile phone of our son or the equipment of the neighbor that connects to our network without permission.

We will take as an example a router D-LINK DIR-505 model

Step 1

Login to the router: to access the router we have to know previously the IP Address, then typing this on the web browser, for this example we are going to use the typical 192.168.0.1

Step 2

Once we have logged in we must go to ‘Advanced’ tab.

advanced

Step 3

On the left bar we found the third button, MAC Address filter configuration, where we have three options at dropdown list, ‘Turn MAC Filtering OFF’, ‘Turn MAC Filtering ON and ALLOW computer listed to access the network’ and ‘Turn MAC Filtering ON and DENY computer listed to access the network’, depending on our requeriments, we have to select either ALLOW or DENY option

n2

Step 4

Once we selected the type of filter we can chose the MAC Address from the dropdown list and click on the arrow near to list, or insert manually.
maclist

Step 5

Save the changes and close the connection to router management

But, how can I retrieve the MAC Address of my network adapter?

Linux

In a shell, type ifconfig. The MAC address is HWaddr.

ifconfig

Android

Go to Settings> Wi-Fi> Advanced Settings. There, the MAC address of your Android device will be shown.

android

Note: please, keep in mind that this is a ‘low security’ setting and must be reinforced with other settings to give a true protective shield to your network

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