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Do you connect to multiple Wi-Fi networks with your iPhone or iPad every day? Whether at work or in a public place, you may want to protect your privacy by using private Wi-Fi addresses on your device, which basically change the device’s MAC address to a random address. However, a changing MAC address is not always desirable in some network situations, so you may want to disable this feature in other situations as well.
By disabling the private address feature, iOS will display the true MAC address of the device and allow any network tracking or restriction features to work properly again. There are two scenarios in which the private address role change can occur. The first is when the device is already connected to a network and you want to disable the private address. The second scenario is when you want to connect to a restricted network that is not allowed while the Private Address feature is enabled.
When connecting to a Wi-Fi network with any device, the device must identify itself to the network using a MAC address. When connecting to multiple networks, the same MAC address is typically used, making it easy for network operators and observers to track your activity and determine your location over time. However, devices running iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 and later use a different MAC address for each network, which helps protect your privacy.
Using private Wi-Fi addresses can sometimes prevent you from connecting to certain Wi-Fi networks, especially if they filter and approve MAC addresses. In this article, you will learn how to enable and disable private Wi-Fi addresses on iPhone and iPad.
How to disable private Wi-Fi MAC addresses on iPad/iPhone
- Open the Settings app, then tap Wi-Fi.
- Tap the info button next to your Plume network name.
- Touch the Private address switch to turn it off, a prompt to rejoin the network will appear.
- The iPhone will briefly disconnect and then reconnect using the original hardware Wi-Fi address.
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