Solved Home router MAC address - has my ISP changed it?

March 5, 2020 at 08:17:22
Specs: Windows 10
A few weeks ago I edited the MAC address of my router to I'd get a new IP address from my ISP and it worked.

I've just tried to do the same again and the option to edit my routers MAC address has disappeared. Trust me I have checked 20 times and it's not there.

I've just found out that my routers MAC address has now been reverted back to it's original one. I know this as the router has a sticker on the back with original MAC address, and I've checked this with an arp -a from my PC, they are the same.

So somehow/someone has changed my routers MAC address and disabled the option to change the MAC address.

Do ISP's do this? Or am I going crazy?

fyi my router is Zyxel AMG1302-T11C


See More: Home router MAC address - has my ISP changed it?

Reply ↓  Report •

#1
March 5, 2020 at 08:56:05
I don't know for sure, but I can imagine an ISP might do this to resolve an address conflict. How could you be sure that the MAC you set didn't correspond to an existing device?

message edited by ijack


Reply ↓  Report •

#2
March 5, 2020 at 09:18:45
I can't be sure of that as I just entered a random new MAC address, if I remember rightly i entered mainly (but not all) F's.

It's a bit big brother though if my ISP did this without informing me or asking me as it's my router which I purchased, and they've also disabled the option of me doing it again.

Thanks for reply btw.


Reply ↓  Report •

#3
March 5, 2020 at 09:29:48
✔ Best Answer
Although it's your router, you can't use just any random address, any more than you can use any old registration number for your car. Although it might have been better if they just disconnected you and let you know why. (But, without an Internet connection, you probably wouldn't have received the message!)

message edited by ijack


Reply ↓  Report •

Related Solutions

#4
March 5, 2020 at 13:42:59
Why do you want to change your IP address? Did you get banned from a site & you're hoping to regain access?

The easiest way I know to change your IP would be to disconnect the modem (unplug both the power & ISP input cable) & let it sit unconnected overnight, possibly longer. Do you think you can manage without internet for 24 hours?

https://www.computerhope.com/issues...


Reply ↓  Report •

#5
March 5, 2020 at 20:10:05
In the manual , I don't see MAC setting for WAN
ftp://ftp2.zyxel.com/AMG1302-T11C/user_guide/AMG1302-T11C_V3.00.pdf

What is the selection of "Line" in the "internet connection" panel
What is your subscription: ADSL2+ or ADSL2
Or do you have a seperate modem?


Reply ↓  Report •

#6
March 6, 2020 at 02:43:09
yes i got banned. disconnecting my router will not do it as i'm assigned a static ip address by my isp.

Reply ↓  Report •

#7
March 6, 2020 at 02:45:55
Yes i've searched that manual too and couldn't find anything on it, but i promise you it was a feature on the router, i used it to successfully change my IP address. And now it's gone lol.
I'm ADSL2
Router and modem in one.

Reply ↓  Report •

#8
March 6, 2020 at 03:13:38
If your ISP assigns you a static IP address you definitely can't change it. Anarchy has its problems.

Reply ↓  Report •

#9
March 6, 2020 at 06:48:17
"It's a bit big brother though if my ISP did this without informing me or asking me as it's my router which I purchased, "

Your ISP should not be able to access your router............period, end of story. Unless you intentionally left the admin access without a password and then allowed remote admin capabilities (every SOHO router I've ever worked on has that turned off by default) there's no way they should have been able to get to the admin login, much less login to the router.

If they had an issue with you changing your MAC address, they would have just shut down your internet connection. They wouldn't have hacked into your router which is your private property. That would not only be illegal, but it would also be a whole lot more work than just shutting down your connection from their end.

I suspect your router got rebooted and the MAC reverted.......although it really shouldn't have if you saved it. Did you perhaps do a firmware update on your router recently? That could change it, and remove the ability to change the MAC as well.

The only other alternative would be you got hacked.

FWIW, I've been spoofing my MAC for years. My ISP only allows two client MAC address' to be saved/stored within their system. I used both of those up getting connected when I first got it setup. One MAC was my PC, the other my router. I've been using that same MAC address ever since because I have no clue where to go on the ISP's website to reset my stored MAC address'. I tried calling once years ago to get them to do it but their "support" people are clueless and they didn't know. So I reused the MAC from my first router on the second and it connected just fine. Been using that same MAC ever since.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

message edited by Curt R


Reply ↓  Report •

#10
March 6, 2020 at 11:33:46
"Unless you intentionally left the admin access without a password and then allowed remote admin capabilities"
I changed the default password when I first got the router 3 years ago but it wasn't a very strong password (it is now).

"I suspect your router got rebooted and the MAC reverted.......although it really shouldn't have if you saved it. Did you perhaps do a firmware update on your router recently?"
I don't see how the MAC reverted, i 100% saved the new MAC address and THEN rebooted to get my new IP from my ISP, and it isn't been rebooted since. I've not updated the firmware, no-one else has either as it's an old version.

"The only other alternative would be you got hacked."
But why? Why change the MAC to it's original? How would they know the original? Only my ISP would know the old MAC address so may be they hacked it reverted the MAC and removed the option to change the MAC? I've ran virus scans on my devices and nothing shows. I've examined my router traffic logs (only a few days worth of recent data) and there's nothing suspicious.

I know this all seems a bit strange but I promise you I'm as puzzled as anyone else. I think ijack's solution is the only plausible one.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#11
March 6, 2020 at 14:02:19
It could have reverted back on its own by default when you restarted it 'to get a new IP address' and you did not know it at the time. It is possible that the manufacture made it that it could only be changes once when they set it but the setting 'looked' like you were setting it though it never really 'took'.
This 'feels' more plausible.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


Reply ↓  Report •

#12
March 6, 2020 at 17:27:53
I seem to recall MAC addresses are pretty well hard coded into the chip/device... and not easy to change. Likewise each device has a unique MAC address.

They can be changed, but under specific circumstances only...?


Reply ↓  Report •

#13
March 7, 2020 at 06:26:21
If the OP got himself banned from a site, there must have been a good reason. We shouldn't be helping him find a work-around. If he wants to get reinstated, he should take it up with the administrators of the site.

Reply ↓  Report •

#14
March 7, 2020 at 06:36:43
Sorry but i dont know how to or if I can quote each reply so I'll just quote your comments.

It could have reverted back on its own by default when you restarted it 'to get a new IP address' and you did not know it at the time. It is possible that the manufacture made it that it could only be changes once when they set it but the setting 'looked' like you were setting it though it never really 'took'.
This 'feels' more plausible

The option to "save" the edited MAC address was clearly present in the router software, why would i be given option to save for it only to be reverted once rebooted? And if it did revert i wouldn't have been given a different IP address once rebooted, but I did get a new IP address.

I seem to recall MAC addresses are pretty well hard coded into the chip/device... and not easy to change. Likewise each device has a unique MAC address.
1 million % I had the option to edit and save my router MAC address which has now mysteriously disappeared.

If the OP got himself banned from a site, there must have been a good reason. We shouldn't be helping him find a work-around. If he wants to get reinstated, he should take it up with the administrators of the site.
Nice assumption thanks dude. Have you never come across over zealous moderation before? Guess not. Also, if you actually tried reading the thread properly you'd see I already changed my IP address and ban evaded so I'm not asking for help on ban evasion, I'm wondering why the ability to change my routers MAC address has disappeared.


message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#15
March 7, 2020 at 07:18:48
You're doing just fine with the quoting! :)

I changed the default password when I first got the router 3 years ago but it wasn't a very strong password (it is now).

As I suspected, you had the admin access password protected. But you may have missed one point I made. Every SOHO router I've worked on by default does not allow remote admin access, or wireless admin access. So to actually get to the login prompt for the router, you have to be physically plugged into the router with a network cable. If you didn't change that (ie: allow remote admin or wireless admin access) then you didn't likely get hacked by anybody outside your LAN. Including your ISP.

I was just thinking of what different scenarios may cause your MAC to change when I mentioned the device rebooting and the MAC reverting. Sometimes (all too frequently) SOHO routers lose their marbles and you have to recycle the power on them to get them working properly again. So, it is feasible that you rebooted the router, or as Fingers mentioned, perhaps it reverted when you tried to manually apply an IP, or get a new one from DHCP.

I was trying to think of reasons why what happened to you happened. The most likely in my mind is either:
A) the router did something weird all on it's own (it happens)
or
B) you got hacked

To my way of thinking, and based on my own experience, I think A is the most likely of the two as being hacked would have had to have been done from within your LAN, Add this to a statement you made in your original post:

"I've just tried to do the same again and the option to edit my routers MAC address has disappeared. Trust me I have checked 20 times and it's not there."

I'm thinking your router IS indeed suspect. If it's working ok now, I'd keep using it but keep an eye on it. If it does anything weird in the near future, replace it. Unless you've upgraded the firmware, or replaced the default with a 3'd party, settings like spoofing a MAC, should not just disappear. If you made no changes then something is definitely hinky and now may be the best time to replace the router.

Oh, and double check to ensure that remote admin access and wireless admin access are not enabled.

:)

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Reply ↓  Report •

#16
March 7, 2020 at 08:48:33
"yes i got banned"
"I'm not asking for help on ban evasion"

Not directly, but that is your ultimate goal.


Reply ↓  Report •

#17
March 7, 2020 at 10:20:25
Thanks for the reply Curt

Every SOHO router I've worked on by default does not allow remote admin access, or wireless admin access.
https://www.zyxel.com/be/fr/product...
With the TR-069 standard management specifications, Zyxel AMG1302-T11C allows service providers to manage and configure customer devices remotely without interfering end users.

I think it was my ISP.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#18
March 7, 2020 at 10:23:14
riider

"yes i got banned"
"I'm not asking for help on ban evasion"
Not directly, but that is your ultimate goal.

Can you not understand english?

Yes i got banned weeks ago but like i've already stated I evaded that ban before i created this thread.

Why would I need help to evade a ban when I'm not banned? I'm not banned from anywhere.

I clearly state, several times, I'm asking why my router has lost the ability to change it's MAC and why the MAC has reverted back to original.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#19
March 7, 2020 at 11:21:26
I don't know what you did to get yourself banned & I don't much care, but the banning is what caused you to mess with the router settings in the 1st place. Apparently you found a way to circumvent the ban but the result is that your MAC setting options have somehow changed.

If everything is working properly, what's the problem? Do you anticipate getting banned again? Personally, I would update to the latest firmware but it doesn't appear you want to do that. Then again, it's an older unit & there haven't been any updates in almost 2 years, so you may already have the latest. https://www.zyxel.com/be/fr/support...


Reply ↓  Report •

#20
March 7, 2020 at 12:33:28
If everything is working properly, what's the problem?
My router has been accessed and changed without my knowledge or permission and I'm wondering how and why? Would this not make you wonder if it happened to you? I'm sorry my questions don't meet your expectations but the thing is you don't set the rules here, and the replies i've had (apart from yours) have shown my questioning is reasonable.

Your irrelevant and unhelpful comments and blind assumptions are pathetic.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#21
March 7, 2020 at 14:21:48
How anyone gained access beyond their having either cat-5 or wifi access is very odd.

If they used Remote access, or another variant/similar app. you may unknowingly have installed that app, and/or allowed them in at least once...; possibly after a tech support call to whomever...

Similarly a determined hacker might manage it; but would need to know your (fixed in your case) ip address at least.

And as earlier... MAC addresses are assigned by some regulatory body or other: are unique - idea being no two devices have the same address. However within a closed (in house or private) system, one can re-assign/change/edit them; as long as the device(s) affected never connect outside of the closed system.

Why your router reverted to original address? I’m actually not at all clear how you managed to change it in the first place. My router has no such option; and I have used several makes over time; and never seevn that option.

Which having said in last paragraph... I discovered this via a duckduckgo trawl:

https://www.howtogeek.com/192173/HO...

It appears that some routers may all that process; but not all. And a given make may allow in one model and not another.

I found the above link using the string/search term:

change MAC address on my router

Perhaps repeat my trawl, as there are many hits in that regard, which may be illuminating...?

message edited by trvlr


Reply ↓  Report •

#22
March 8, 2020 at 00:57:03
Hi trvlr

The link i provided in one of my previous posts shows my router has support for remote access by my ISP.

Although the manual for my router does not contain instructions for changing the MAC, it was still a feature that i found and used in the router software. My ISP has remotely removed this feature to stop me changing it again and reverted the MAC (i believe).

To resolve this one way or another i'm going to phone my ISP on monday and ask them if they did this.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#23
March 8, 2020 at 07:01:12
My apologies, I didn't realize we were talking about a combo device (ie: combination modem and router in one) that was I'm guessing, provided by your ISP??

When I first moved to my present location some 15 years back, my ISP provided me with one of those. I told them, "No thanks" and got them to send me a modem. I then used my own SOHO router that I owned. The reason being, I want control of my LAN (I do enterprise level networking for a living and not only do not want, but definitely do not need their help!) and who can access it. As you've just learned, your combo device allows your ISP access inside your LAN (your home).

Based on the above, and what you quoted from the combo unit manual, I would say yes, it's very likely your ISP changed your MAC. You can avoid things like this in the future by getting a separate modem and using your own router as I do. You can call me paranoid if you want to but I work hard at keeping others out of my home network.........I'm sure not going to allow the ISP access!

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Reply ↓  Report •

#24
March 8, 2020 at 07:06:59
A question - without wishing to intrude into your private affairs...

Why the need for a fixed IP address from your ISP?

That luxury usually costs money compared to the standard variable (non fixed) ip address?

Also even though you apparently(?) give your isp permission once(?) to access your router.. for them to do so later and change settings - including disabling some facilities (MAC address editing for example) - is surely illegal?

Perhaps time to change isp?

And also maybe get a new router - regardless?


Reply ↓  Report •

#25
March 9, 2020 at 05:51:44
Curt R
Yes after this experience i would much prefer a setup like you have. I've not had a setup before like you describe so maybe i will look into doing it.

trvlr
I didn't ask for a static IP i was just given one and there's no price difference afaik (i'm in the uk).
I never gave my ISP permission to access my router. The option for remote access by my ISP is enabled by default, i haven't looked if i can disable it. I'm not sure if it's illegal that they've done this. Thinking about it i'm sure ive read somewhere that the router is actually their equipment still? I could be wrong on that.

I've just phoned my ISP support, the guy tried to help but was clueless. He didn't understand anything about MAC addresses etc, he didn't know my router had remote access support and when i told him it had (see the above link for proof) he just repeated that it hadn't. He said the only way to access my router was for an engineer to be at my home which is blatantly wrong.

I told him my router software had lost the option to edit it's MAC and that the MAC had reverted but he said no it hadn't basically. So i'm either mentally ill and imagining things, i'm making this up for the lulz, or i'm telling the truth.

I'm going to try emailing support to see if i get any more sense out of them. Failing that I will phone again and ask for this to be elevated to a more techy support guy.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#26
March 9, 2020 at 07:06:14
If the isp provided your kit (an all in one modem/router which is the standard kit issued) then yes they retain ownership and have the right to access it - but first must advise they are doing so.

If it's your own kit... then yes they can remote in - "but only with your approval"; and that approval must be sought and given each time. They cannot simply remote in whenever they feel so inclined, That (in my view) wold constitute "hacking" and that's illegal... (certainly in the UK and many other parts of the world).

That your isp gave you a fixed ip address for free is unusual... That luxury usually costs money and is not usually cheap either.

I'm curious who your isp is; but considering possible legal issues here... better not to say publicly?

Sky will not provide a fixed ip address unless you pay for it (or at least that was their situation when last I queried that option); and as best I know all the main players in the UK are the same?


Reply ↓  Report •

#27
March 9, 2020 at 07:11:45
I've just phoned my ISP support, the guy tried to help but was clueless

This is typical. I work in enterprise level networking so imagine my frustration when I contact my ISP's support line and they don't even speak the language.......LOL

Emailing won't help. You need to have them escalate the issue up the food chain. If you push hard enough, far enough, you might get someone who actually does have a clue. Just don't hold your breath on it.

Ask them if they can provide you with just a modem and you provide your own router. Even the person who first answers the phone should be able to answer that question for you. Not all ISP are the same though. While mine does provide the modem, not all do and you may be forced to buy your own.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Reply ↓  Report •

#28
March 10, 2020 at 06:37:19
trvlr

They didn't ask permission to access my router they just did it unfortunately.
My ISP is "post office broadband". They've been acceptable over the last few years and are well priced.

Curt R

Yes I will phone again. I'm a bit busy for a few days at the moment but will phone at the end of the week. I'll make sure they create a support ticket and that it is escalated to someone who knows what they're talking about, I won't be fobbed off again. I will also ask if they can supply me with a modem so I can use my own router.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#29
March 13, 2020 at 06:25:35
lol

I phoned my ISP again, once again he insisted they didn't have access to my router, I explained that they have, he said ok then we do have but we have no ability to alter my routers settings. Strange, why have access if you can't change anything?

He point blank refused to create a support ticket or escalate it to someone else. They won't send out a modem, my only option is to buy the same model router from them, which they will be able to remotely access again without telling me and then deny it.

I don't need to change my MAC/IP address again so I'm just going to leave it. Can't be bothered with changing ISP. I'm defeated lol.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

#30
March 13, 2020 at 07:17:25
You should be able to replace their device with your own modem and router. You'd have to buy them yourself though.

You'll likely have to contact their support line again and ask which model modem's will work with their service. They should be able to tell you. It won't be just one. I know my ISP supports several models.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


Reply ↓  Report •

#31
March 13, 2020 at 12:22:44
Curt R

Tbh I think I'm just gonna wimp out and leave their router in place. I don't see me needing to change my MAC/IP address again although I might experimented with it a bit but I guess this isn't what the ISP wants, so I'll just leave it, but thanks for yours and everyone else's help and advice in this thread.

message edited by disco_


Reply ↓  Report •

Ask Question