In case if you don't already know, a MAC (Media Access Control) address is an identifier (basicallyÐ± a series of numbers and letters) that is automatically assigned to a network card so that your computer can be recognized in a network. Even if it is recommended not to change your MAC address, there may be some situations where you will have to. So, if you want to change (or spoof) your MAC address, and you don't know how, then continue reading this guide.
Finding your MAC address
First of all, before starting to change your MAC address, you might want to know how to find it, in case if you want to write it down or for any other purpose. Depending on which type of network you use, Wi-Fi or cable connection, there are two ways to find your MAC address, and I will cover both of them.
If you are using a Wi-Fi connection to access the Internet, then finding the MAC address of your wireless network card is very easy. All you have to do is hold down the "Option" key and click on the Wi-Fi icon from the menu bar. Once you have done that, you will see your network card's address, the name of the interface and other options (see image). If, by some chance, this doesn't work because you are using an older version of OS X (or if your Wi-Fi is turned off), you can click on the "Network Preferences" option and select the "Hardware" tab to view the address. Additionally, you can access the "System Preferences" menu, navigate to your "Network" tab, select your Wi-Fi network, click on "Advanced" and select the "Hardware" tab.
Keep in mind that the displayed address is the physical address of your Mac, so, if it was previously changed, you might want to find the actual address by writing the following command under Terminal:
ifconfig en0 | grep ether
If you are using a cable connection to access the Internet on your system, then, in order to find the MAC address of your Ethernet network card, you will have to do it several simple steps. First, you will have to access the "System Preferences" from the Apple menu. Once you have done that, open the "Network Preferences" window, select your Ethernet connection on the left side, click on the "Advanced" button and then on the "Hardware" tab. Now you will see the MAC address of your Ethernet network card.
Changing the MAC address
Now that you know how to find the MAC address of your network card, it is time to change it. First of all, as you might have noticed, the MAC address has a specific format that follows this pattern: aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff. So, if you want to change your network address, then you will have to provide one or, if you don't have one in mind, you can always generate a random one using the Terminal and typing the following command:
openssl rand -hex 6 | sed 's/\(..\)/\1:/g; s/.$//'
Once you have your MAC address ready, all you have to do is open the Terminal and use this command to spoof the address:
sudo ifconfig en0 ether aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff
For example, if you want to change the MAC address to, let's say, 00:b1:b2:b3:b4:b5, then the command will look like this:
sudo ifconfig en0 ether 00:b1:b2:b3:b4:b5
Additionally, can use a randomly generated MAC address to change your original one, without having to writing it down and using it later with the above mentioned command, by combining the sudo and the generation command, like this:
openssl rand -hex 6 | sed 's/\(..\)/\1:/g; s/.$//' | xargs sudo ifconfig en0 ether
Using third-party apps
Ultimately, if you don't want to work with the Terminal and manually change your MAC address, then you can always download and install various third-party applications that can help you do that. Two examples of such tools are MacDaddy and MacSpoofer, both of the free and very easy to use.
As you can see, changing your MAC address is not that complicated. However, you should know that, after spoofing these addresses, you might encounter some network problems, so it is highly recommended to restart your network connections.
Also, if you are having trouble changing the MAC address of your Wi-Fi network card, you might want to make sure that the Airport is turned on at all times.