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How to Locate your Wireless Card's MAC Address

Your Media Access Controller (MAC) address is a unique number assigned to every networking device in your computer. This is set by the manufacturer and allows us to provide better service to you by limiting access to our customer network. We keep this information on file to make sure that only First Step customers can connect to our subscriber wireless network. For a listing of free wireless hotspots which you can use at any time, take a look at our listing here: Available Wireless Hotspots 

To find your MAC address in Windows, please do the following:

  • Click the Start button, then click Run
  • If you are using Windows XP type: "cmd" without the quotes
  • If you are using Windows Vista or 7 enter "cmd" without the quotes into the Search box.
  • Hit Enter on your keyboard or click the OK button

A black window should appear. In this window type:  "ipconfig /all" without the quotes and then hit the Enter key on your keyboard. You should be presented with some information about your networking devices, part of which looks like this:

Ethernet adapter Orinoco Silver WiFi USB:
Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : wireless.fsr.net
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : ORiNOCO USB Card #1
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-02-2D-XX-XX-XX
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes

The Physical Address is what you are looking for. Write down that 12-digit number, that is your wireless device's MAC address. Contact First Step Internet with this information so we can make the necessary updates to our system to get your wireless device registered.

An alternate way to find your MAC address uses the System Information tool provided by Windows.

To find your MAC address we can use the System Information tool that is built into Windows.

Click the Start button
Click All Programs
Click Accessories
Click System Tools
Click System Information

This will open the System Information program.
In the left hand column of System Information, please:
Click the + next to Components
Click the + next to Network
Click the Adapter entry

The right hand panel will pause briefly to gather your system information and then will display all of the network adapters on the computer. There can be a large number so look for the "Find what:" option down on the bottom of the System Information screen.
Click on the Name category on the right hand side on your first network adapter.
On the bottom of the screen in the box next to "Find what:" type: wireless
Put a check mark in "Search selected category only
Click the Find button

Wait for the search to complete and then you should see your wireless adapter. If you get no matches, two other search terms will likely help: "wlan" and "802.11" If none of those search terms give you a match, make sure you're clicked on the Name category up above the find window.

You should find the MAC address for your wireless card listed along with its networking information. For a wired adapter, this looks like so:

NOTE: There may be more than one network device present in your computer. Make sure you give us the MAC address from your wireless card, not a built-in Ethernet device. You can usually tell the difference by looking at the manufacturer name of the device in the first line. Common wireless manufacturers are Broadcom, Intel, Atheros, Orinoco, Proxim, D-Link, Linksys, Belkin, Microsoft, SonicWall, and Netgear.

  • How to Locate your Wireless Card's MAC Address
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