Do you have a MAC address that you need to track?

If your computer was stolen but you know the MAC address of your network card, it might be tempting to look for a MAC address finder or some kind of central database that can track MAC addresses. Unfortunately, this is not something you can do.

The same goes if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi and you’ve found their MAC address in the list of connected devices on your router. It would be great if you could look up that MAC address and cross it against a master list of names and addresses of people with MAC addresses, but this, too, is not possible.

MAC addresses are not registered

As you probably noticed in the introduction, computer manufacturers and people who buy computers don’t have to register their MAC address with any kind of central administration. Because of this, there is no way to find a stolen computer’s MAC address, or to find the identity behind one of these addresses.

Like IP addresses, MAC addresses are assigned to network devices and are easy to determine with tools like Command Prompt. On the other hand, they differ from IP addresses in that they cannot be investigated to find the owner.

MAC address lookup

Although MAC addresses aren’t stored somewhere with identifiable information attached to them, there are ways to look up a MAC address to find more information about it. What you find can help you investigate further and troubleshoot.

For example, you can use the MAC_Find website to search for a MAC address and find your provider’s information. If it works, you’re one step closer to learning more about the manufacturer, but it doesn’t help in finding out who owns the MAC address.

On a local network, the arp command can be used with the -a parameter to identify the MAC address of a connected device. It works if you know the IP address.

  arp -a 

You can also try arp -a by itself to get a list of IP/MAC combos. Find the MAC address that you have to bind to the IP address, and then run the tracert command with the IP address to identify the host name of the device.


MAC Address Blocking

While blocking a MAC address won’t be helpful if your equipment was stolen, it can definitely be helpful if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi. When you block a MAC address, what you’re really doing is explicitly allowing only certain MAC addresses to connect to your network.

You can block MAC addresses through what is called MAC address filtering. The moment you implement this on your router, anyone using devices that don’t comply with your approved list of MAC addresses will be immediately banned from your Wi-Fi.