Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

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Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:05 pm

Hi, first time poster, but long time reader of TR here.
I'm running into a weird problem with my network where periodically (every few hours), my internet will be cut off and I have to log into the router and resubmit the allowed MAC addresses again before I can get internet again.
Any ideas why this would happen and possible fixes?
Thanks.
Image <- Yes, I'm running it at 3.1Ghz. I don't know why it won't validate though.
charles_chang
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:14 pm

A few more details would be helpful. Home network or work/dorm? Type of router (if known)? Did anything change in your system configuration around the time this started happening?

My first guess would be a flaky router, but it is hard to say without more info.
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:54 am

This is actually the network at my apartment complex at college. I have no idea what type of router they're using, but I'm within range of 3 different access points, and they can't all be bad. These internet disconnects also happen at different buildings of this complex. Please note that I am still connected to the routers, but since my MAC get's unauthorized randomly, my internet will cut out.
I've been in contact with them and they can't figure out why either.
They use a Nomadix box for intercepts btw, I dont know if that has anything to do with it, but just incase...
Thanks for the reply.
Image <- Yes, I'm running it at 3.1Ghz. I don't know why it won't validate though.
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:03 am

Tell them your routers default MAC as the MAC of your PC, that way you won't need an override, bad router or not.
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:31 pm

Madman wrote:Tell them your routers default MAC as the MAC of your PC, that way you won't need an override, bad router or not.

I dont think they'd do that, and I wouldnt know how to get the MAC of their router. It's their routers, not mine.
The way it works is: We make an account with them, and on their website, we input up to 3 different devices' MAC addresses to be linked to our account. BTW, their website is the only page I can get to when my internet goes out. I just go to their site and update my MAC addresses and I'm good to go again, for a few hours.
Image <- Yes, I'm running it at 3.1Ghz. I don't know why it won't validate though.
charles_chang
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:38 pm

if you disconnect your wifi and 15 other people connect they get assigned your address
that is why when u reconnect next time it is different
potatochobit
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:15 pm

potatochobit wrote:if you disconnect your wifi and 15 other people connect they get assigned your address
that is why when u reconnect next time it is different

No, the MAC address is specific to the WiFi adapter. Nobody else will get assigned his address unless someone's trying to steal his WiFi by spoofing his MAC (which is a possibility, but unlikely IMO). He's talking about a security provision whereby you need to register the MAC address of the device you're using before the router will let you use the network.

Does this happen with other PCs, or just this one? You're not doing anything unusual (e.g. cloned MAC address) are you? Does their system require you to re-register if you switch access points?
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:
potatochobit wrote:if you disconnect your wifi and 15 other people connect they get assigned your address
that is why when u reconnect next time it is different

No, the MAC address is specific to the WiFi adapter. Nobody else will get assigned his address unless someone's trying to steal his WiFi by spoofing his MAC (which is a possibility, but unlikely IMO). He's talking about a security provision whereby you need to register the MAC address of the device you're using before the router will let you use the network.

Does this happen with other PCs, or just this one? You're not doing anything unusual (e.g. cloned MAC address) are you? Does their system require you to re-register if you switch access points?

Yes, I've talked with other people from around the complex and they also have the same problem. I'm not doing anything unusual, I'm not savvy enough. And no, all the access points have the same SSID and I dont have to re-register moving between them.
Image <- Yes, I'm running it at 3.1Ghz. I don't know why it won't validate though.
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:09 pm

Try to figure out whether everyone else seems to have this issue, or just people with certain types of WiFI hardware or a particular OS. That will tell you whether it is an incompatibility with certain configurations, or a network-wide problem.

If everyone else is having similar problems, the issue is likely with the system that manages the registration of the MAC addresses. If that's the case, unless you can get management of the apartment complex to fix whatever is broken you're probably just going to have to put up with it.
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:24 pm

Hmm, the may be something to look into.
I'm pretty sure it's a problem with their setup, and I'm working with them to find out why this happens. They're as interested in fixing this as I am.
Image <- Yes, I'm running it at 3.1Ghz. I don't know why it won't validate though.
charles_chang
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:40 pm

Do they have anything that tries to detect if your box has become a spam spewing zombie and dumps it on a separate network until you get it cleaned up? This could be being triggered and cutting you off. It could be a real problem with your box or it could be a false positive form their system.
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Re: Why do I have to periodically update my MAC address?

Postposted on Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:07 am

I dont think so, or they haven't told me about anything like that.
Image <- Yes, I'm running it at 3.1Ghz. I don't know why it won't validate though.
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