Jul 30, '13 09:05:00AM • Contributed by: LexFriedman
You’re at a fine establishment which offers delicious, free Wi-Fi in addition to delicious, for-pay food. Perhaps served in bread bowls. But like your soup, the Wi-Fi eventually dries up: Restaurants and coffee shops that want to get customers out so that new ones can come in might boot you off the Wi-Fi automatically after thirty minutes.
But you’re not like other customers! You’re going back up to the line to buy another beverage and perhaps a scone. You deserve to get back on that Wi-Fi, dagnabbit. And there’s a way.
We’ve covered changing your MAC address via Terminal before. But now you know that you can use this trick to get back online at Panera Bread and other establishments with time-limited Wi-Fi.
First, get your current MAC address. You can find it in many places; one such place is System Preferences -> Network -> Wi-Fi -> Hardware tab. But since you’re about to get down and dirty Terminal, you can instead launch it, and type:
sudo ifconfig en0
Note: en0 might not be right for your Mac. You might need
en1 instead; if your Mac has an ethernet port (i.e., isn’t a MacBook Air), that port owns
en0, and your Wi-Fi card is
en1. If you’re not sure which to use, try typing just
sudo ifconfigand pressing Return: The device listed with “status: active” is probably the one you want to work with. So if you need to use
en0, tweak the instructions below as needed.
After you press Return and provide an administrator password, look for the line labeled “ether,” and note the colon-separated string of letters and numbers. It will look something like:
q3:2x:17:08:43:8f. Copy it to your clipboard. Paste it somewhere special. Don’t lose your real MAC address.
Change one thing in the address. Perhaps tweak the last letter to the next one in the alphabet, or increase the final number by one. In my example, I might make my new, fake MAC address
To save that new address, perform these commands in Terminal:
Presto-change-o! Your Mac’s now using a new MAC address, and you should be able to reconnect to the restaurant’s Wi-Fi. But if you do so and you don’t buy more food at the same time, you’re earning all kinds of bad karma.
Just remember to change your MAC address back again when you’re finished, using the same steps in Terminal.