Network and Internet Turn On or Off Random Hardware Addresses for Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 11


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Wi-Fi_banner.png

Wi-Fi is a wireless local area network (WLAN) technology and standard that uses high-frequency radio waves to provide wireless Internet and network connections to your Windows device.

When you're 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, for example shopping malls, stores, or other public areas, might use this unique address to track your movement 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.

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

This tutorial will show you how to turn on or off use random hardware (MAC) addresses for Wi-Fi networks in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: Turn On or Off Use Random Hardware Addresses for All Wi-Fi Networks
  • Option Two: Turn On or Off Use Random Hardware Addresses for Specific Wi-Fi Network




Option One

Turn On or Off Use Random Hardware Addresses for All Wi-Fi Networks


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Network & internet on the left side, and click/tap on Wi-Fi on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Wi-Fi_random_hardware_addresses-1.png

3 Turn On or Off (default) Random hardware addresses for what you want. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_random_hardware_addresses-2.png

4 You can now close Settings if you like.




Option Two

Turn On or Off Use Random Hardware Addresses for Specific Wi-Fi Network


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Network & internet on the left side, and click/tap on Wi-Fi on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_random_hardware_addresses-1.png

3 Click/tap on Manage known networks on the right side. (see screenshot below)


Wi-Fi_random_hardware_addresses-3.png

4 Click/tap on the Wi-Fi network (ex: "Brink-Router2") you want to turn on or off use random hardware addresses. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_random_hardware_addresses-4.png

5 Select On, Off (default), or Change daily for what you want in the Random hardware addresses drop menu. (see screenshot below)

Wi-Fi_random_hardware_addresses-5.png

6 You can now close Settings if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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