Wireless network is a technology which, although isn’t new for most of the internet users now, is growing in popularity with every passing day. It provides convenience to people who can roam with their laptops without bothering with connected wires. However, any latest technology which comes with innumerable advantages and benefits to its credit also carries its share of flaws. The wireless network isn’t foolproof to say the least and filtering MAC addresses is one of the ways to secure it from hackers.
A MAC address, abbreviation for Media Access Control address, is a unique identification number, assigned by the manufacturer in computer networking to network adapters and it contains the manufacturer’s identification number. In order to find the MAC addresses on one’s system, all is needed is to follow a few steps. Firstly, click on the Start button on the taskbar and then select Run. Secondly, type command in the space provided and then presses the Enter button and then you need to type “ipconfig/all” in the command window and press Enter. In the resulting information, the line labelled physical access address will be the MAC address.
The advantage of filtering MAC addresses in your PC is that even if the hackers manage to obtain your password, they won’t be able to access your network, thereby excluding the hackers’ devices from gaining access to your wireless network. Therefore, it provides much additional security to one’s network. There are specific instructions to be followed in that respect. First of all, you need to make sure which are all the devices which you want to gain access to your wireless network. This may not only include computers but other media devices as well like cell phones, wireless printers etc. Then log into your router and then click on the wireless tab on the screen. Then click on the Wireless MAC filter tab on the lower right and then click on “Enable under Wireless MAC filter”. Then the next window will take you to a screen where you’ll have the enable and disable choices to allow PCs to gain access to your network or prevent PCs listed from accessing the network. Here you need to click on the “Edit MAC Filter” option. Thereby you can add the MAC addresses of devices which are allowed on your wireless network. After you’ve entered the addresses, you can culminate by clicking on “Save Settings”.
Apart from following these steps to enable a security driven network, there are some things that need to be borne in mind, the most important being that MAC addresses, being the unique identification numbers that they are, cannot be changed as they are encrypted into the hardware of the system. Secondly, you need to take the MAC addresses of people whom you know and who use your network regularly so that they can be added to the list.
Filtering MAC addresses may not be a foolproof or a perfect way to enable security to one’s network. But it does improve overall Wi-Fi security to a great extent, thus proving to be a more than helpful method.