MAC Addresses and Private Addressing


Private Addressing (Random MAC Addressing)

Devices usually connect to the network using a static MAC address identifier assigned to them during manufacture, which enables the network to identify specific devices. Some device operating systems offer enhanced privacy by randomising and changing this MAC address on a regular basis (known as Private Address). This however means the network is unable to recognise the same device connecting and reconnecting, so MAC address based controls (such as Access Controls) will stop working for these devices.It is possible to disable the randomised MAC address feature on most devices via their Wi-Fi settings. Information on how to do this and the impact can be found on the device manufacturer’s website.

Private Addressing and Fing

Private Addressing can cause a range of issues for all network toolkits, such as Fing, and we advise disabling this functionality if you're connecting and testing on a trusted, home network. To disable this we have some guidelines, however these may not be identical for your situation and you may need to research the device(s)yourself and find how to disable this functionality if they do come with this functionality.


iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Wi-Fi.
  2. Tap the More Info button next to a network.
  3. Tap to turn Private Wi-Fi Address off or on. If your device joined the network without using a private address, a privacy warning explains why.


Turning off Private Address When Already Connected to a Network. To turn off Private Address when already connected to a network, tap Settings, Wi-Fi, and the network in question, and then tap the switch next to Private Address to turn it off. The switch will turn from green to grey, indicating it is off.

For more information: Use private Wi-Fi addresses on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch - Apple Support


Note: The instructions may vary as Android varies per device manufacturer.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to "Network & Internet" or "Connection", then choose "Wi-Fi" to access Wi-Fi settings.
  3. Tap the gear icon associated with eduroam or UT-Open. If there is no gear, just tap the network name.
  4. Most common places to find Private Address setting within this pop-up:
  5. MAC Address Type > Device MAC
  6. Advanced > Privacy > Use Device MAC
  7. Advanced > MAC Address Type > Phone MAC


How to Turn Off 'Random Hardware Address' on Windows

  1. Activate your licenses on a USB flash drive. Or.

  2. Follow the steps below to turn the Random MAC address feature off: Select the Start button, type 'settings'. Select Settings > Network internet > Wi-Fi. Set Use random hardware addresses to Off.


MAC Addresses and iOS 11

The Fing iPhone App can no longer show MAC addresses in a network scan in iOS 11.

In iOS Version 11 and later versions, apps can no longer access MAC addresses in the APR table of the iPhone’s Operating System (iOS).  The quality of the Fing app device recognition may be decreased and identification will be based on IP addresses.  The Wake On LAN feature is no longer available.

The Fing App for Android, Fingbox and Fing Desktop are not affected by these changes.


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