How to get MAC address of my router

donawalt

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Sep 10, 2015
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A woman I know lives in a retirement community. She has an iMac, and she cannot get it connected to her wireless printer. The Mac works on the network, when I connect the printer to WiFi it says there are multiple routers with the same name, connect to all or just one- I have tried both, and the printer thinks it is on the network, but the iMac doesn’t see the printer! I have used the Canon setup pkg and System Preferences; I have tried searching by ip address and Bonjour name as reported by the printer. My only thought is to see the MAC address the router the iMac is connected to, then choose that one at the printer since it lets me pick a router by MAC address. (I think they have a router per residence with the same name for security reasons.) Do you have any other ideas, and is there a terminal command to display the MAC address of the connected router on the iMac? Thanks!
 

kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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You should be able to find the MAC address by using iStumbler. I find it easier to use than Mac OSX's Network Utility, which may also provide this information.
 

donawalt

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Sep 10, 2015
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I find it easier to use than Mac OSX's Network Utility, which may also provide this information.
Do you mean the Network in System Preferences? I don't see any router info in there other than IP address, unless I am missing it somewhere. I prefer not to load a utility on her machine, I was hoping there is a way with a terminal command or installed app I can find this out, plus with it being $15 for iStumbler she won't want to buy it and I won't want to buy it for her lol.
 

Honza1

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Nov 30, 2013
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Do you mean the Network in System Preferences? I don't see any router info in there other than IP address, unless I am missing it somewhere. I prefer not to load a utility on her machine, I was hoping there is a way with a terminal command or installed app I can find this out, plus with it being $15 for iStumbler she won't want to buy it and I won't want to buy it for her lol.
You can get lot more info on devices involved... Just hold down option key and click on the wifi symbol. You get your IP, MAC and lots of information on router, signal strength etc. The BSSID (whatever that means) looks like MAC of the router, has appropriate format...
 
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donawalt

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Sep 10, 2015
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Ah I didn't see the BSSID there, that does look like the router's MAC address! I'll try that.

Does anyone have any other ideas why the printer and iMac might both be on the sane network based on SSID, yet the iMac doesn't see the printer by any means, including Bonjour name and IP address?
 

flashy-cat

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Apr 8, 2007
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This doesn't make sense. What IP address does the iMac have? Use an app to scan the subnet. If this is a large LAN covering multiple buildings I can't see the need for more than one router. If this is a communal wireless access point, need to set the printer to create an ad-hoc link with the iMac. Better still, connect the printer using a USB cable.
 

dsemf

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Jul 26, 2014
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Ah I didn't see the BSSID there, that does look like the router's MAC address! I'll try that.

Does anyone have any other ideas why the printer and iMac might both be on the sane network based on SSID, yet the iMac doesn't see the printer by any means, including Bonjour name and IP address?
In a shared environment the router is usually configured to block client to client traffic, in this case the computer and printer.

DS
 

kohlson

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Apr 23, 2010
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Ooof. iStumbler was free for years, and I just noticed that it's now $15.And Kicmac is gone, too.

Network Utility is different than Network preferences. The utility has come with Mac OS X for as long as I can remember.

But, the App Store has both Lanscan and IP Scanner (search term "network scanner") and both show MAC addresses.
 
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donawalt

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Sep 10, 2015
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Thanks. The printer is across the room so a USB cable is impractical I think. Thanks for the tips I'll see if I can see the printer from the iMac with these tools. Maybe I have to get their IT involved, they must not be used to residents having a wireless printer lol. I have never had hooking up a printer thru wifi be so hard...
 

Ruggy

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Jan 11, 2017
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Do you have physical access to the router? The MAC address is usually written on the label underneath.
 

BrianBaughn

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Feb 13, 2011
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I am convinced you'll need to coordinate with the residence IT folks to either get that working or find out you can't.

One other thing though...is that iMac running any virus software that might have a firewall blocking local connectivity?
 
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donawalt

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Sep 10, 2015
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I am convinced you'll need to coordinate with the residence IT folks to either get that working or find out you can't.

One other thing though...is that iMac running any virus software that might have a firewall blocking local connectivity?
Good points - I am thinking that unless I can connect both printer/iMac to the same MAC address of the router and see it work, I will have to get their IT folks to get it connected. They really seem to have things locked down as there are privacy issues with people's medical info etc. here, so that may be my recourse. As for your second point, good question I don't think so, it seems like the iMac has all reinstalled apps only on it, but I'll check once more to be sure!
 

donawalt

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Probably obvious and already done, but have you turned off the printer for a few minutes and then restarted? If not working then, you might want to go through the printer settings.
Thanks, done all that...
 

BrianBaughn

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Feb 13, 2011
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The situation is probably similar to trying to use a wireless printer while on a hotel's network. Search for solutions to that problem and you might find one that will work for you.
 

cqexbesd

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2009
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Germany
My only thought is to see the MAC address the router the iMac is connected to, then choose that one at the printer since it lets me pick a router by MAC address. (I think they have a router per residence with the same name for security reasons.) Do you have any other ideas, and is there a terminal command to display the MAC address of the connected router on the iMac? Thanks!
You can probably see the mac address of the router with `arp -an` in the terminal (assuming you know the IP address of the router). I'm not sure if it will help though.

Does the printer get an IP address (normally network printers will print their current network settings if you press the right buttons)? Can you ping the IP from OSX? If so you could try adding the printer by IP however this might be dynamic so may break again.

(I don't have a mac to hand so all commands are from memory)
 

Ruggy

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Jan 11, 2017
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Assuming they are both on the same router, are they both on exactly the same network? That is, is one on the 2.4ghz and the other on 5ghz for example, or do they use a different protocol? (a, g, n).
I have had the situation where both are connected to the same router but on slightly different configurations and the mac doesn't see the printer.
Just a thought.
 

donawalt

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2015
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Assuming they are both on the same router, are they both on exactly the same network? That is, is one on the 2.4ghz and the other on 5ghz for example, or do they use a different protocol? (a, g, n).
I have had the situation where both are connected to the same router but on slightly different configurations and the mac doesn't see the printer.
Just a thought.
Thanks Ruggy, very good questions, I am not sure of the answers as I can't get access to the router. Quite a constraint :-(