Easiest way to change your MAC address (unrooted)

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by Paul B. Andersen, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. What is the easiest way to temporarily change your MAC address
    (for privacy reasons) on an unrooted iOS or Android device?

    As you all know, the hardwired MAC address of your WiFi NIC is
    (essentially) unique, and therefore, can be used to "tag" all
    your communications when you are away from home.

    That means that anyone at a Starbucks, McDonalds, public library,
    etc., or even someone driving next to you on the freeway, can
    uniquely identify that device as being a device they've seen
    before (or not) if they simply bother to record the MAC address.

    Therefore, it would be nice to change the MAC address daily,
    as I already automatically do on my laptops.

    But I don't know *how* to change the MAC address on my smaller
    unrooted mobile devices, such as my iPads and my Android phones.

    Googling, I easily find MAC address spoofing freeware which
    requires a rooted device, such as:
    Wireless Mac Address Changerm Osama Abukmail

    It's harder to find iOS MAC address changer software, but it
    must exist.

    What is the easiest way to temporarily change your MAC address
    on an unrooted iOS or Android device?
    Paul B. Andersen, Jul 4, 2015
    1. Advertisements

  2. Don’t change it daily, set it to 00:50:43:00:45:3e. Safety in numbers,
    and all that.

    Richard Kettlewell, Jul 4, 2015
    1. Advertisements

  3. Paul B. Andersen

    Lewis Guest

    The MAC address is not available to machines beyond your router. The
    only people who can "tag" you based on the MAC address are those
    controlling any networks you connect to.

    If you don't want to be tagged, don't connect to unknown networks.
    This is entirely 100% incorrect.
    Lewis, Jul 5, 2015
  4. Paul B. Andersen

    Guest Guest

    "In iOS 8, Wi-Fi scanning behavior has changed to use random, locally
    administrated MAC addresses," reads the slide, which can be
    downloaded from Apple's servers as part of the presentation. "The MAC
    address used for Wi-Fi scans may not always be the device¹s real
    (universal) address."

    here's the slide:
    Guest, Jul 5, 2015
  5. Paul B. Andersen

    Whiskers Guest

    If you turn off the WiFi on your smartphone no-one will be able to
    detect the MAC number or anything else. Only enable it when you want to
    use it. There's at least one Android app that can turn your WiFi on and
    off according to your location - "Wi-Fi Matic" by GZ Systems Ltd.

    I know that doesn't change your MAC. But if you don't trust a router
    with your MAC, don't connect to it.
    Whiskers, Jul 7, 2015
  6. You're on to something there, with the "safety in numbers",
    If we all use the same MAC address, we can better hide.
    Yes, I know we can't be on the same network, but, there's not much chance
    of that since there aren't that many of us.

    I like DE:AD:BE:EF:CA:FE myself.
    It's the "foo" of MAC addresses.
    Paul B. Andersen, Jul 8, 2015
  7. It's not only the router you connect to, it's every single person in the
    public library also.

    It's probably easier to change the MAC address than to kick everyone else
    out of the public library whenever you use their wifi. :)

    I found this article which says "Android Terminal Emulator" freeware
    will do the trick on half my systems:

    They suggest Terminal Emulator for Android by Jack Palevich

    0. Find your MAC address in the settings about menu
    1. Start the "Terminal Emulator for Android"
    2. Get out your reading glasses because the text output is tiny!
    3. Find the name of your WiFi card
    4. Change the MAC address

    Example on my system:
    0. My WiFi MAC was 5c:0a:5b:a1:ff:00
    1. I started the terminal emulator (& put on my reading glasses)
    2. I typed "ip link show" (or "ip link show | grep -i 5c:")
    3. That MAC address showed up as "wlan0"
    4. I typed "ip link set wlan0 address de:ad:be:ef:cafe"
    and "ip link set broadcast de:ad:be:ef:ca:fe"

    The only catch was that I got an error "Operating not permitted",
    so, it didn't work (yet).
    Paul B. Andersen, Jul 8, 2015
  8. Paul B. Andersen

    tlvp Guest

    If so, what's the "bar"? or the "Kung" :) ? Cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Jul 8, 2015
  9. Paul B. Andersen

    tlvp Guest

    Well, buck up, and keep us posted :) . Cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Jul 8, 2015
  10. Personally, I think the web page was a scam.
    You'll notice the guy who wrote it was:
    a) Indian
    b) Marketing major
    c) Copied the information from a 2008 Android discussion
    d) Selling advertisements

    Given that, I am almost positive the web page (there is a duplicate
    on another site by the same Indian author) is simply a dumb site
    merely to generate user views, so as to sell advertising space.

    I don't think, after researching this, that you *can* change the
    MAC address without first rooting the phone.

    Then, any of a number of methods work (e.g., ifconfig or set ip).

    Paul B. Andersen, Jul 8, 2015
  11. Here is the 2008 discussion the Indian marketing scammer probably
    stole the information from in 2015 to generate page hits:

    Notice the Indian marketing scammer didn't even correct the
    erroneous command to set the "broadcast" address to
    ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff (which isn't even needed because that's the default).

    Anyway, I have concluded two things:
    a) The Indian marketing scam web page is a lie,
    b) You can't change the MAC address without booting to a rooted OS

    If I'm wrong, I will be perfectly happy for someone to prove me
    wrong, as I'd *love* to be able to change my MAC address without
    having to root the thing.
    Paul B. Andersen, Jul 8, 2015
  12. BTW, what does "buck up" mean?

    Anyway, here's another idiotic reference to the exact same
    text, in this case, from 2014 (which again, probably just
    copied the erroneous 2008 information):


    At least since that was on a forum, people refuted it in
    the subsequent posts.

    It's only on the Indian Marketing Scammer's blog that you can't
    refute what the guy says. It has a comment section, but, I'll
    bet the guy deletes all the comments because there are none, and,
    you'd have expected at least one person to refute the information.
    Paul B. Andersen, Jul 8, 2015
  13. Paul B. Andersen

    tlvp Guest

    It's a NE Americanese phrase of encouragement, replacing "chin up", "cheer
    up", "be of good cheer", "don't be disheartened", &c. HTH. Cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Jul 9, 2015
  14. Paul B. Andersen

    Alan Meyer Guest

    Which sounds reasonable doesn't it? If a malicious app on your phone
    randomly changed the MAC address (which it could do if there was no
    requirement to be root), couldn't it play havoc with your
    communications, giving you a denial of service problem?
    Unfortunately, this kind of scam is run by people in the U.S. and
    elsewhere in addition to people in India. I don't think it's India

    To make the scam work, people use Google's adsense system. If you
    complain to Google and provide the evidence that the website is just a
    plagiarization of other sites, Google may cut them off from the adsense
    program, but they might very well come back under a different name.

    One of the funny things about this kind of scam is that the people who
    do it typically aren't stupid and could probably make more money with an
    honest job. Maybe it's the thrill of scamming people that attracts
    them. Maybe dishonest work attracts them more than honest work, even if
    it pays less.

    Alan Meyer, Jul 9, 2015
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.