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WRT54GS: MAC address in admin menu different than sticker's

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by docinthebox, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. docinthebox

    docinthebox LI Guru Member

    I recently sold a WRT54GS v2.1. The buyer emailed me saying when he brought up the MAC Address Clone page (WanMAC.asp) in the admin menu, the MAC address listed there was different than the one shown on the router sticker (the sticker address was the same as the MAC address shown on the box). Firmware version is 4.50.6. I asked him to run "arp -a" to double check the MAC address. He hasn't replied yet.

    Has anyone come across any similar issue where the MAC address listed in the admin menu is different than the one on the router sticker? Is there any possibility that the firmware is buggy such that the admin menu lists a wrong MAC address?

    The router was purchased straight from Fry's, all shrink wrapped and unopened. I'm positive it's brand new.

    So far, since the firmware is 4.50.6, I know that this router is v1-v3 (v4 and newer versions run a different firmware). Now the buyer is accusing me of replacing the router sticker with a fake one, which is interesting because I honestly don't know how replacing the router sticker would help you sell the router in any way.

    Thanks in advance for any comment/suggestion.
  2. MAS3

    MAS3 LI Guru Member

    First, i don't see why this should be a problem.
    Second, if it's that important to him, in these cases try to let him do a full reset of the unit and then check again.

    Last but not least, MAC cloning is a must for any router that might be connected to a cable modem.
    Some internet providers, mostly cable providers, let their modem only connect to 1 device and this is checked by the MAC adress, which is (almost) unique.
    One can defy this "protection" by cloning such MAC adress.
    The modem then is only connected to 1 known MAC adress, but that one distributes the internet access.
    If your customer accidently did clone the MAC adress, that will explain this difference he noticed.
  3. notedfuturist

    notedfuturist Network Guru Member

    There are 3 MAC's on a linksys wireless router.
    1.Wireless MAC
    2.Internet side MAC
    3.LAN side MAC

    There should be 3, but the sticker only lists one of them. (I forget which one it lists).
  4. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    It simply sounds like at some point a mac was cloned and has not yet been set back to the default mac.
  5. docinthebox

    docinthebox LI Guru Member

    Okay, on my notebook connected wirelessly to my WRV200, I tried to do "arp -a" then disconnecting and plugging in a cable, reconnected, flush the arp cache with "arp -d" and did "arp -a" again. The wireless MAC and LAN side MAC on the router are the same, which is reasonable because the router only has one LAN side IP address, whether connected wirelessly or wired. But I do believe the WAN (Internet) side MAC is different though.

    Is there any way to check the WAN (Internet) side MAC?

    Thanks for bringing that up. That's a very good point.

    Ifican, the MAC address in question is the faded value on the page WanMAC.asp in the WRT54GS official firmware admin menu. If you have the official firmware (or even if you have HyperWRT + Thibor), you'll know what I mean. The faded value is the value you get before doing any MAC address cloning. It's the native uncloned MAC address detected by the firmware.
  6. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    In that case then cop to what it is, "you dont know why". If he insists reconfirm that the router works and all is well. Worst comes to worst and he wants to return it, then do the right thing and take it back and return his money as long as the device works when you receive it. At that point i am now quite curious as to why that is.
  7. scaredwitless

    scaredwitless LI Guru Member

    There are two MAC addresses associated with the router. One is the WAN MAC and the other is the LAN MAC. The sticker on the bottom of the Linksys represents the LAN MAC. It's silly in my opinion that they don't include both MAC addresses on the bottom. What you see "faded" by default into the MAC clone section, as well as on the Status page (atleast in Thilbor HyperWRT firmware anyway) is the WAN MAC. That's the MAC that needs to be cloned if you ever switch routers.

    The LAN MAC and the WAN MAC should be identical except for the very last digit. The WAN MAC will be one digit higher than the LAN MAC. For example on my WRT54G V2 my LAN MAC ends in 4, and my WAN MAC is identical to it except that it ends in 5.

    Not really sure why it matters so much to your buyer though. Why would he be wanting a "fake sticker"?

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