How to spoof a MAC address (and why)

MAC spoofing is one of those odd tricks: it’s not very useful most of the time (and it can be extremely awkward in a well-managed environment) but sometimes it’s the only technique that will solve the problem.

And the problems it solves are varied: from building absolutely identical standby kit for high-availability situations, through testing MACbased security on Wi-Fi, to migrating software that uses MAC addresses as part of its security and licence checking onto a replacement machine. But think carefully if you see a more pervasive need at a client: wholesale MAC changing is invariably a poor solution as it means manual management of a address database – remember managing IP addresses by hand and the problems that caused?

But when you do need to change MAC addresses, a tool such as SMAC (, free – $99.99) is invaluable. The free version enables you to set, change and delete the MAC address of a network card – the paid-for versions have additional features such as validating the manufacturer associated with a MAC address, randomly choosing a MAC address, and producing reports of the various NICs in a computer.

It couldn’t be simpler to use. Select the NIC for which you want to change the MAC address, type in a MAC address (or press the Random button) and press the button to restart the adaptor. It’s a simple tool that only does one job, but does it very well indeed.

Changing a network card’s MAC address using SMAC.



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Comments (1)
Posted: Feb, 23 2010


This article is very useful, thank you. I am interested in changing the MAC address of a portable device (say, a mobile phone with WIFI). Do you know of an application that is able to do this?



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If you're supporting en users who need to transfer files by FTP occasionally, explaining how to use FTP every time can get frustrating. Map an FTP site as a custom network location and they can do it through the familiar Explorer window. If you only have a couple of machines you can choose Tools >Map Network Drive… in Explorer and click the link 'Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures' to open a wizard that creates a network location. Select 'Choose a custom network location', type in the FTP address and fill in the user name and password. You can also create mapped drives and network places on the Environment tab of the user's Active Directory object - but if you have a lot of users to set up, put it in the logon script for the user profile under Active Directory Users and Computers.
If you're running into problems with Group Policy Objects, check this handy summary of the rules at read more


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