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Wifi Security: Enable MAC Filtering

on December 14, 2015

Some months back I wrote an article regarding the Wifi security and in this article I am trying to explain MAC Filtering on Dialog 4G router. I updated this list in my router few days back and though of sharing.

What is MAC Filtering?

It is easy to understand. It is a list with MAC addresses of physical devices. If your device MAC address is in the list, the access granted (given that you enter the password correctly if the hotspot is password protected).

Analogy: You got a ticket(password) for a VIP Club party but unfortunately someone has stolen it. The person who stole it then go to the part and present the ticket at the reception. No MAC Filtering enabled: He is in the party. But if the MAC Filtering is enabled, then he is asked for the NIC to verify the authenticity of the person who holds the ticket. As his NIC number (MAC Address) is not in the list, unfortunately no partying this time. I hope you got the point. This is how exactly MAC Filtering works. But you see the flaw here. If the person who stole the ticket is wise enough to forge the NIC (given that he knows the NIC number of the legitimate ticket holder) then most probably he will be taken into the club. Simple, isnt it? So make sure you keep tickets for parties safe 😛

Is MAC filtering safer?

Not really, it is not the strongest security feature to nag hackers or intruders. BUT something is better than nothing.

When MAC Filtering can be used?

If you know the MAC address of the devices which are used to access your wifi router (legitimate users) then this feature can be used. What should be done is maintain a ledger of MAC Addresses against the devices.

How to break this feature?

Breaking this is simple.

  1. Get the password of the router. Find it, that is also not difficult.
  2. Use a network sniffing tool and find out a MAC address which has the access.
  3. Then forge the MAC address and pretend that you are a legit user.
  4. And connect, enjoy free internet !!

** There is other ways of bypassing the MAC filtering feature, please google if you are interested.

How to set up this feature?

Following is a step by step guide. (Please note the interfaces shown below can be different/ or may not be the exact as below)

Access your route and login as the admin. It is simple as browsing the default IP of the router which is 192.168.8.1

Then enter admin credentials and you are in.

First of all you need to enable MAC filtering.

Enable_MAC_Filtering

Then you need to add MAC addresses to the MAC Filter list.

Allow_list_MAC_Filtering

MAC address is some string like this AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF

You need to find it in your device and add it accordingly.

MAC_Filtering_list

SO using MAC Filtering is simple.

Recommendation

This is a small security feature that works well with your home wifi router if you keen on blocking unwanted access. All you have to do is find out MAC address of the devices and add it. I really recommend this if you are living in an apartment, shared houses and etc…

Remember, door locks are not 100% safe. Even though you lock the door when you leave home. And if the intruder is motivated enough, a door lock cannot stop him. But it gives a basic security over others. MAC Filtering is as same as this anology.

Enjoy MAC Filtering………

 

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