MAC – Windows Blog by Brink


Find MAC Address on Windows 11 PC

A MAC address (Media Access Control address) is a unique identifier assigned to a network interface controller (aka: NIC or network adapter) for use as a network address in communications on the physical network segment. This use is common in most IEEE 802 networking technologies, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

MAC addresses are primarily assigned by device manufacturers, and are therefore often referred to as the burned-in address (BIA), or as an Ethernet hardware address (EHA), hardware address, or physical address.

MAC addresses are recognizable as six groups of two hexadecimal digits, separated by hyphens, colons, or without a separator.

Knowing the MAC address of a network adapter can help to identify the device or configure networking permissions (ex: MAC filtering) on a router.

This tutorial will show you how to find the MAC address of network adapters (NICs) on your Windows 11 PC.

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Turn On or Off Random Hardware Addresses for Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 11

Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network (WLAN) technology and standard that uses high-frequency radio waves to provide wireless Internet and network connections to your Windows device.

When you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, your PC sends a signal to look for Wi-Fi networks in the area to help you get connected. The signal contains the unique physical hardware (MAC) address for your device. Some places, for example shopping malls, stores, or other public areas, might use this unique address to track your movement in that area. If your Wi-Fi hardware supports it, you can turn on random hardware addresses to make it harder for people to track you when your PC scans for networks and connects.

There’s two controls for using random hardware addresses—one is for all Wi-Fi networks and the other is for the specific Wi-Fi network you choose. When you turn it on for all networks, random hardware addresses are used while your PC scans for networks and connects to any network. When it’s turned on for a specific network you choose, random hardware addresses are used the next time you connect to that network.

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off use random hardware (MAC) addresses for Wi-Fi networks in Windows 11.

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