What is the purpose of MAC address cloning?

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by SAPo57, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    I have a cable internet connection and it just works fine for me without having to clone a MAC address, but some say it keeps your connection locked with no disconnects.:confused:

    Although, I don't quite believe that, but on my Broadband router I have the option of cloning my PC's MAC address. What's the point of that if the cable connection can be shared with any computer in my office?

    Why would it ask for the PC's MAC (I don't have any cable software on any PC)and not the Router's (broadband router connected to the cable modem)?
  2. Thibor

    Thibor Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    some isp's lock their clients internet connection to a particular mac address. this function is a workaround to that restriction.
  3. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    Well I have no information about my ISP regarding that, because I made a negotiation ($$$) with a technician to install comcast high-speed internet without paying $$$ to my ISP forever.

    In other words, "I have free cable internet for life and my ISP doesn't notice my connection to their service", as the technician explained to me.
  4. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    some cable modems lock the DHCP to a single mac address. if a pc or router is replaced for the WAN port to the cablemodem, then either mac cloning needs to be done or the cablemodem need to be rebooted. if it is rebooted, then the External IP address is usually changed.
  5. SAPo57

    SAPo57 Network Guru Member

    You said, "The External IP address is usually changed."

    By that you meant it would change automatically when the modem is rebooted or that I would need to set it up manually?
  6. Guyfromhe

    Guyfromhe Network Guru Member

    Do you really think it's a good idea to be bragging about stealing internet service on the internet?
  7. ifican

    ifican Network Guru Member

    Good points on everyone, yes it would be wise to keep that under wraps as your location could easly be found out if someone really wanted it. As far as the cloning goes. Locking down DHCP was something that all cable companies were doing in the early days because thats what they thought was the thing to do. However (and i can only speak about stateside connections) they soon realized the headache and the man power needed inorder to keep that type of security implemented so they changed it. Generally now adays if you run into anything like this it is simply that your account has been given 1 ip and you have an active lease in their (cable companies) system. So until the lease times out, is cleared or cloned, if you change MAC's then the system will not issue you an IP. Usually if you go through a reboot sequence you can get the system to recognize the old lease is no good and issue you a new address. If all else fails, the cloning feature works great, yeah yeah i know i get a little to involved in these questions, but i cant help it...........
  8. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Network Guru Member

    Comcast doesn't authenticate via MAC upstream. MAC authentication is less and less common these days, for cable ISPs.

    Most cable modems, as mentioned above, will "remember" the MAC of a device they're connected to..such as the common Motorola Surfboards that Comcast commonly uses. If you change that device..(ex...going from a NIC to a router)...it won't hand out a public IP (instead, usually give you a 192.168.100.xxx). All you have to do is power off the modem for a few minutes...connect it to your new device..with that new device powered on..power up the modem..let it synch..then repower your new device. Now the modem has memorized (locked) the MAC of your new device.

    I prefer this method over MAC cloning..which IMO is a bandaid approach. I have Comcast, I often change devices several times a month..a day even.
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