A MAC address is a unique number used to identify a device on a network. Some operating systems generate random MAC addresses when connecting to wireless networks to increase your privacy and protect you from malicious tracking.

How it affects Home Network Security

Identified devices may not be recognized and may show up as new devices after reconnecting to your home network. There are also instances of incorrect brands or device models being displayed in the Home Network Security app.

Trend Micro recommends that you disable MAC randomization ONLY when connected to your network. For your security, keep random MAC addresses enabled for all networks outside of your home.

How to disable MAC randomization

Windows 10
  1. Click the Start menuStart button.
  2. Click the gear icon to open Settings.
  3. Click Network and Internet, then select Wi-Fi in the left pane.
  4. Set Use random hardware addresses to OFF.

Android 10

This setting may vary depending on the phone brand and model:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Network and Internet, then choose Wi-Fi.
  3. Remove your home network. Tap and hold the network name, then choose Forget network.
  4. Tap the gear icon beside your network's name.
  5. Tap Advanced.
  6. Go to MAC address type, then choose Phone MAC.
  7. Reconnect to your home network.

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

Turn OFF Private Address ONLY when you are connected to your own home network.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the Information button next to a network.
  4. Set Private Address to OFF.

You may see a privacy warning when your device joins a network without using a private address.

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