Networking Tip – Clone Mac Address

While visiting my parents I needed to get wireless internet working. After a half hour of investigation with the ISP tech support, they said, “it is your linksys router, call the manufacturer”. Well, I know my router is just fine because I used it earlier that day at my house.

So basically, what was happening is that if I hooked up the cable modem to the main PC, it worked. But if I tried to connect up the cable modem to the router, it wasn’t working because the router was not getting an IP address from the ISP.

I did some digging around in the control panel and found something new to me, “Clone Your PC’s Mac” address:

This makes your router look like your PC to the ISP and allowed me to connect just fine. Try it sometime if you are having problems connecting your router to the internet.


  1. says

    A clever trick is to hook it up to your router first, power off your modem and back on again, and if you still can’t get an IP, call your ISP and just tell them you got a new computer. Don’t even mention you have a router.
    They will then reset your modem to authorize with a new MAC (this time it will be your router) and bingo, it will work.
    As soon as you mention router or anything, 99% of ISP’s will just be like “Woah, that’s the problem right there. We don’t support it, call them.”

  2. says

    Great tip, Robert. The only problem I see with your solution is that once you disconnect the router and connect the main computer, you will have to call them again and repeat the process.

  3. says

    Yes, in that case you would, however usually when you go to a router you never go back to a direct connection, you just always go through the router :)
    However your solution works well too :)

  4. nyphonejacks says

    since the begining of the whole broadband internet thing cable modems required you to clone the mac address in your router.. many companies have relaxed that standard now that they allow you to connect multiple PCs to the modem with a router, but back in the beginning, they wanted you to purchace a seprate modem for each connected PC…

  5. says

    Or what you could have done is attached the router directly to your laptop and assign yourself a private IP address, then clear the router cache. This updates the router and it thinks nothing is attached to it.

  6. James Rice says

    I’m visiting a friend for a few weeks in Cali and I know they only had a cable modem, so since its small I brought my linksys router with me.
    When I hooked up either my laptop of my friend laptop direct to the modem it worked fine. But when I hooked up the router, the router would get an IP and the DNS info, but I still couldn’t get online using any of the computers via the router.

    I did some research and realized that Cox Cable tries to block known MAC addresses of routers, in an attempt to have people pay for every computer they use with the service. On the Cox help pages, they have a whole section about “adding multiple computer access” to your service.

    Long story short, cloning my laptop’s mac address to the router solved the problem.

  7. matt says

    I just had the same problem with Cox blocking my Linksys router’s IP address, so I did the “Clone pc Mac Address” and it connected immediately. Thanks for the help

  8. says

    Cloning Mac addresses here in the UK breaks many laws. I have seen this happen, because you can sell your own internet with duplicate Mac addresses.

  9. Charlie says

    I am experiencing difficulty connecting my Nook Ereader to my Linksys wrt54g router. Could Mac Cloning solve this?

  10. Doug Glass says

    Great idea cloning the MAC. But which PC do I clone from? Does it matter which? The only reason I have a router is because I have several computers on a home network. I think that’s why most people have a router … wired or wireless.

    That being the case, which computer do I do the cloning from? The one that’s wire attached to the router? The one that’s on most often on or just any of the seven that are connected in one way or another?

  11. jk says

    i tried cloning the MAC address, and my internet was working fine.
    I waited 5 minutes, went to google and the internet was not working, so i re-disabled it and the internet worked again