Random Hardware Addresses - Windows 10

Issue / Question

There are two controls for using random hardware addresses. One is for all Wi-Fi networks, and the other is for a specific Wi-Fi network you choose. When you turn the control on for all Wi-Fi networks, random hardware addresses are used while your PC scans for networks and then connects to any network. When the control is turned on for a specific network you choose, random hardware addresses are used the next time you connect to that network.

Environment
  • Platform
    • Windows 10
  • Audience Affected
    • Students
    • Faculty
    • Staff
Resolution
How to use random hardware addresses for all networks:
  1. Select Start 
  2. Select Settings 
  3. Select Network & Internet 
  4. Select Wi-Fi 
  5. Select Use random hardware addresses
Using random hardware addresses for specific networks
  1. Select Start 
  2. Select Settings 
  3. Select Network & Internet 
  4. Select Wi-Fi 
  5. Select Use random hardware addresses
  6. Select Manage known networks.
  7. Select a network.
  8. Select Properties 
  9. Select the setting you want under Use random hardware addresses for this network.
Why use random hardware addresses?

When you are not connected to Wi-Fi, your PC sends a signal to look for Wi-Fi networks in the area to help you get connected. The signal contains the unique physical hardware (MAC) address for your device. Some places (i.e. shopping malls, stores, or other public areas) might use this unique address to track your movements in that area. If your Wi-Fi hardware supports it, you can turn on random hardware addresses to make it harder for people to track you when your PC scans for networks and connects.

Impact on campus

The DeviceNet wireless network on campus uses your hardware address verify which computer is registered by you. With random hardware addresses turned on in Windows 10, your hardware address will change periodically which will make it not work properly. 


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Details

Article ID: 57664
Created
Wed 7/18/18 12:02 PM
Modified
Fri 9/24/21 12:23 PM