There are several ways of identifying your laptop when it's connected to a network router, including its Media Access Control (MAC) address. Routers use MAC addresses to manage all connected devices and can use the address to block or filter specific access. Find your laptop's MAC address, then identify it on your router's list of connected devices, to help control your laptop's use of your home, office or Internet network.
Things You'll Need
- Windows OS
- Mac OS X
Find your laptop's MAC address if you're running Windows. If you're on an Apple Mac, skip to Step 3. Click "Start" in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and select "Run" from the pop-up menu. Type "command" and press "Run." A dialog box will appear. (On Vista, click "Start," then type "run," followed by "cmd" into the "Start Search" box.)
Type "ipconfig" and press "Enter." Windows will display a list of information. Your laptop's MAC address is listed under "Physical Address."
Find your laptop's MAC address if you're running Mac OS X. Click the apple-shaped icon in the top left-hand side of your Mac screen and select "System Preferences." Press "Network." A new window will launch.
Press "Advanced" at the bottom of the window. Click "TCP/IP." Press "Airport" or "Ethernet" to view your laptop's MAC address, depending on your method of connecting to your Internet or office network.
Access your network router's configuration page. Typically, this can be found by opening a web browser window and entering "192.168.1.1" in the address bar. Consult your router manual if you are unsure.
Go to your router's configuration page. Press "Options," "Configure" or "Settings." The exact words vary by router manufacturer. In the settings, find the MAC filter, typically labeled as "MAC Filter" or "Wireless MAC Filter." All devices that are connected to the router will be listed by their respective MAC addresses. Find your laptop by looking for the MAC address you discovered in Steps 2 or 4.
Tips & Warnings
- The MAC address is a permanent identification number that's unique to your specific laptop and cannot be changed.
- US Dept. of Energy: How to Find Your MAC Address
- "Guide to Wireless Network Security;" John R. Vacca; 2006
- Photo Credit Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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