Tracking a MAC address

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by nemesisowns, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. nemesisowns macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
    need to know if my MAC address can still be found if i changed it and have a firewall?
  2. bstreiff macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    Austin, TX, USA
    That depends on what you mean.

    Your MAC address is specific to your networking hardware-- i.e., your wired and your wireless connections each have their own MAC address. For TCP/UDP, this address doesn't get propagated past your router.

    Some applications, however, may use it when submitting reports or for authentication mechanisms-- in these cases, they would have to read the MAC address directly and then submit it to something. For instance, an application may generate a hash of your MAC address and other identifiers on your system to use as a registration key that would only work on your computer. Obviously, for such an application to get your MAC address, it would have to be running on your machine-- it won't get sent out if you're just reading e-mail or browsing the web.
  3. nemesisowns thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
    thnx i appreciate the advise btw, but im wonderin if it is possible for someone to trace the original MAC id, basically what im tryin to say is tht if someone stole my computer and changed the mac on the network card is there any way i could still track down my computer?
  4. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2005
    When you change the MAC address it's only a software thing....the real MAC address on the card is always there.......It's called the BIA, burned in address. Having said that if someone has had it away with your laptop the chances of finding it via MAC address are pretty slim !
  5. nemesisowns thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
  6. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    And the MAC address is only used within the local network. Once you are off the subnet (which presumably a stolen computer would be), you have to get the cooperation of the router the computer is working on to tell it is there (namely you need access to the arp cache). This sort of thing is note really going to help you.

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