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Thread: WAN MAC Address Question

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Amarillo, TX, USA
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    WAN MAC Address Question

    I have a Linksys BEFSR41-v.2 Router connected to a DLink DCM-202 Cable Modem and two desktop PCs running Vista Ultimate (32bit).

    No gaming...just simple mom & pop operation

    Its been so long since I setup my Router I can't remember why I did what I did at the time but I would appreciate any help you Pros can give me.

    With my current setup I'm able to connect just fine to the internet.

    However, over the past few months I built a couple new puters to replace my old ones so I could run Vista.

    When I look in my Linksys configuration I see that my current WAN MAC Address is apparently the same as its been for a long time. I have not changed it since I bought my own Cable Modem a couple years ago and I recall having to register a new client MAC address with my ISP (formerly Cox & now Suddenlink). This MAC Addy is cloned in the Router.

    However, this WAN MAC Address is not the same as the Physical Address shown for the Nvidia nForce Network Controller for my new puter.

    I changed my Router config to the new Nvidia Physical Address and reset the modem but was not able to connect to the internet until I went back to the existing WAN MAC.

    Do I need to change my WAN MAC Addy to agree with my new Nvidia Physical Addy and if so how do I do this?

    The only reason I've been messing with this is because I noticed that when I boot up Vista that there is a "RED X" on the Network Icon for about 5 secs and then a yellow exclamation for another 5-10 secs and then after a total of about 20 secs I can connect to the internet...I got to thinking that this might be because I need to change my WAN MAC addy to agree with my new Nvidia Network Controller Physical addy.

    Thanks for any comment on my little issue
    Rookie (some day)

  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Don't need to match the MAC. The WAN MAC is what your cable modem "sees"...and gives an IP address to. The MAC of any LAN PC you have is irrelevant. Most cable ISPs don't even bother with the WAN MAC anymore as a means to authenticate..the cable modem just "memorizes it"..and remembers it..giving an IP to it when asked. If you change routers...or reset your router...the cable modem will see a new MAC...compare it to what it "remembers"..and see that it's different..and probably not hand out an IP. One solution is to use the "Clone MAC" feature that most routers support...and type in your original old MAC address. Another..and my preferred method...is to simply power off your cable modem for several minutes. It will "forget" the old MAC address. Power it up..it will learn the new MAC of the router...and you'll be all set.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    YeOldeStonecat...Thank you for the excellent explanation. Speedguide is still the best and wow...what a fast reply

    Thanks again
    Rookie (some day)

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