MAC filtering in Windows 10

Introduction

There are many options available to a Windows 10 user when it comes to managing computer networks, both wired and wireless. Some of them are incredibly vital while others offer less utility from a security perspective.

In this article, we will explore why MAC filtering falls into the latter category. This knowledge is important because there is a common perception that MAC filtering is an effective network security measure.

To be brief and to the point, it is not, and quite emphatically so. While the process certainly has some utility and advantages in specific circumstances, as far as negating external threats are concerned, it is a few degrees above completely useless.

Read on to learn all about MAC filtering, how to do it in Windows 10, when to do it and most importantly, when NOT to depend on it.

Intro to MAC addresses and filtering

All computers use a piece of hardware called a network interface controller (also called a network card) to connect to all networks, local and wide. A Media Access Control (MAC) address is a unique identifier assigned to each network card — and by extension, the PC to which it belongs — in a computer network.

If you want to manage access rights to a network, it can be done easily using these MAC addresses. Any PC whose MAC address is on a whitelist is allowed access to the network ports, while those on blacklists are denied access or blocked. This entire process is called MAC filtering.

If your PC has both Ethernet and Wi-Fi capabilities, that means that it has two separate adapters — one wired and the other wireless. If you use virtualization software, there can be even more! Since MAC addresses are tied to network cards and not their PCs, it is (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Preetam Kaushik. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/infosecResources/~3/QQittEF6hXU/