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How to Setup MAC Address Filtering — Linksys Wireless Router Security

A MAC address is akin to a serial number — every networking component has a unique MAC address, or “ID”. One of the best ways to secure your wireless router is to enable MAC Address Filtering. MAC address filtering allows you to restrict access to your wireless network to all computers unless they have their MAC address known to the router. It’s kind of like a guest list at a party….you tell you router “only these MAC addresses will be admitted — and keep everyone else out.”

This type of filtering is an added level of security, as even if someone does have your network password, they still need to have a machine with a MAC address that’s “on the guest list”. Note that you can also restrict MAC Addresses as well, so if you know a MAC address that you don’t want on your network, you can specifically exclude it.

Before we can enable MAC Address Filtering, we have to know how to find a MAC address. This post goes over how to find your MAC address in Windows.

Now let’s head to the router to enable Mac Address Filtering.

1. Login to your router as usual.  If you forgot how, look at this post — it’s about how to change your SSID but it goes over how to login to your linksys router.

2.  Head to the Wireless settings and select “Wireless MAC Filter”

macFiler-j

3.  In the menu that appears…

macFilter2-j

Click “Enable”.  And then select either the “Prevent” or the “Permit” option.   Personally I use the “Permit” option as that’s just like having a restricted guest list.

Then click on the “Edit MAC Filter List”. Go ahead and type the MAC address for each machine you want to allow on your network to the list. Press “Save Settings” at the bottom when you are done (I’ve blued out my MAC addresses in this image).

MACFilterList-k

That’s it. Any questions?

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3 Comments

  1. internet explorer macJanuary 23, 2012 at 1:51 amReply

    You made some nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found nearly all folks will go along with with your blog.

  2. Thomas AyersFebruary 2, 2012 at 11:48 amReply

    Do you have any insight on how to determine the MAC address for tablets or apple devices?

    • David WFebruary 2, 2012 at 2:48 pmReplyAuthor

      Yes.
      To find the MAC address on an OX X machine, go to system preferences and network. select the name of the location (wired = ethernet, wireless = airport). Click advanced and find a hardware, ethernet or airport ID listing. You should see a number separated by colons “:”. This is the MAC address.

      On the iPad go to Settings -> General -> About and under “WiFi address” you will see the MAC address for the table.

      Hope this helps!

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