Today's Best Tech Deals
Picked by PCWorld's Editors
Top Deals On Great Products
Picked by Techconnect's Editors
Techies know that everyone's network adapter has what is called a MAC (Media Access Control) address that uniquely identifies it. Each is as individual as a fingerprint. This MAC address is used for many different purposes; for example, some networks examine the MAC address of every device trying to connect to it, and lets only those through that it knows are safe. Just as there are ways to change fingerprints, there are ways to change MAC addresses. You might think that changing your adapter's MAC address is beyond the capabilities of mere mortals. It's not, however; if you use the free Technitium MAC Address Changer you can do it with a few clicks of your mouse.
That MAC address is hard-coded directly into the adapter, so you might think it can't--or shouldn't--be changed. In fact, though, there's a way to "spoof" that MAC address, and essentially make the adapter's address look like a different one. Hackers sometimes use this technique to hide their tracks, or slip undetected into networks. But there are also legitimate reasons people might want to do it as well. For example, some network providers such as cable companies register your MAC address when you sign up, and if that MAC address changes, you'll have to re-register via tech support, always an unpleasant process. So if you get a new PC, you might have to call in. You can instead change your MAC address. Security professionals can do this, too, to give a PC a MAC address that isn't authorized to access a network, and then used that unauthorized MAC address to test network security.
When you launch Technitium MAC Address Changer, it looks into your system and identifies every adapter's MAC address. It also identifies the manufacturer of the adapter, its maximum network speed, and other information as well.
If you're a true techie, you can manually enter the MAC address yourself. But MAC addresses are complicated, and it's possible to enter an incorrect one. So MAC Address Changer takes care of the task for you. Click Random Mac Address, and it generates one for you. If you want, you can even select from a list of manufacturers, such as Cisco, Texas Instruments, and many others, and it will generate a MAC address used by one of those manufacturers. Click Change Now! and the MAC address is changed. To change the address back to the original, click Original MAC.
If you want to change your MAC address, Technitium MAC Address Changer is a superb tool. It's even useful for those who are just plain curious about what's under the hood in their PC.