Circumvent Wi-Fi Time Limits By Spoofing Your MAC Address

Circumvent Wi-Fi Time Limits By Spoofing Your MAC Address

It’s great that cafes offer free Wi-Fi to customers, but many are starting to employ time limits to restrict how long you spend in their establishments. If you want to hang out longer than allowed, these time limits aren’t that hard to circumvent. According to security expert Brandon Gregg, you just need to spoof your MAC address.

Photo by Alper Çuğun.

Basically, the process is pretty simple. You just need an app like MAC Makeup so you can spoof a new MAC address and continued Wi-Fi access will be yours. Even changing a single number should do the trick. Brandon also offers up a slightly more devious solution:

An even better trick is use your Wi-Fi to sniff (with an app like Cain & Able,, NetStumbler) other laptops’ Wi-Fi MAC addresses already using the paid coffee shop Wi-Fi. Once you find a few you can copy their mac address as your own. This will give you free Wi-Fi in hotels and other paid Wi-Fi locations.

This, of course, assumes that the paid Wi-Fi locations are owned by the same company and don’t require a login. While we don’t recommend stealing access, this is a good trick to have up your sleeve if you’re in a bind or just need to extend your time limit at your favourite cafe.

What are ways to circumvent coffee shop Wi-Fi time limits? [Quora]


    • Scenario: My wife / child / president has been kidnapped, I’m stuck in a foreign country with no phone service, just a free Wifi point nearby. But lo, I have already used my meager allowance. By spoofing my Mac address, I can continue to use the hotspot to access Google Translate and get a message out that I need help.

      Hope you feel responsible for the untimely death of my wife / child / president through your ethics! Next time my wife / child / president sees you, they will give you a slap / kick / punch for doing nothing / very little / something.

      Regards / all the best / yours truly,
      Frankinator / Frankinator / Frank

  • Wow. What a strange thing for everyone to get up in arms about. The site is called Lifehacker, people. God forbid they mention something hackerish.

  • More pathetic stuff from LH US, as usual). Although it’s clear that some halfwits can’t tell the difference between stealing and hacking.

    • Hack, Hacked, hack·ing, hacks:
      To gain access to (a computer file or network) illegally or without authorization:

      n. Slang
      A foolish or stupid person.

      • The “without authorization” is a commonly misunderstood meaning. “Hacking” is a broad range term, mainly referring to the practice of improvisation and adaptation- altering already built systems or structures to suit other needs. Basically what this whole site is about.
        Your definition is mainly about “Cracking”.

  • “While we don’t recommend stealing access”
    but you are!
    “this is a good trick to have up your sleeve if you’re in a bind”
    What type of freakin’ ‘bind’ would this be exactly? Someone stole your wallet, so you need to email the police? Damn those thieves…

  • Are you guys for real?


    You’re a bloody gug Adam Dachis.

  • Only a matter of time before this site is censored for posting methods for illegal online activity. Don’t believe Conjob wouldn’t do it…

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