Participate in insightful discussions regarding issues related to Intel® Wireless Adapters and technologies
6963 Discussions

Wi-Fi NIC MAC address seen at router as something entirely different than it is.


Hi, everyone. If anyone can answer this, I'd be very interested to understand what's going on here. It's a little weird-looking to me, but here goes...


Because I suspect that there have been some signal stability issues with my existing Wi-Fi NIC, I just replaced it in my laptop (old NIC was a Qualcomm Atheros AR956x, and the new one is an Intel Dual-Band AC 7260). Installation went just fine.


I normally assign static leases to the devices on my network, and I went about the business of reassigning the same address reservation to the Intel NIC as was previously reserved for my old Qualcomm Atheros. I just figured I'd swap out the old MAC address for the new one.


First, I checked the ipconfig /all information to see what MAC address the computer was picking up for the new NIC. I then went to the router's "Attached Devices" screen. I usually just go to the "Access Control" link in that screen because it makes it easier to see those devices as a list as opposed to the "tiled" list the Access Control screen normally presents.


There, I found my laptop connecting to the router, but with a wildly different MAC address than my ipconfig spit out at me. I was a bit confused, so I went ahead and assigned the static lease to the MAC address that my router was seeing.


I rebooted the router, etc., and ipconfig /release'd and ipconfig /renew'ed, and awaited the router's DHCP to assign my preferred static lease to the laptop.


That's not what happened, though. It assigned a random lease outside my reservation range. I was confused by this. I checked the MAC address that the router was seeing for my new NIC again and just copy/pasted it into the reservation list to make sure I was getting the MAC right. Rebooted router, released, renewed, etc. Same result. Random lease.


Instead of doing this a third time, I copied the MAC address that my computer was actually seeing for the NIC into the table for that static reservation, then went through the reboot/release/renew sequence one more time, and, lo and behold, the computer received the correct DHCP lease reserved for the laptop. Strangely, though, the list of connected devices shows the laptop as connected to the router with the correct reservation, but with the wrong MAC.


I don't have any other intervening configuration changes made to the new NIC, nor were any in place for the old. No VPN (not that that would likely matter in any case), or anything else that should or would otherwise knowingly spoof the NIC's MAC address.


Links to screen captures (ImgBB):

GETMAC result 

ipconfig /all result 

Router's "Attached Devices" screen (Access Control list) 


I'm baffled, and if anyone has any insight into what's going on here, I'm all ears (eyes).


Thanks in advance.


0 Kudos
1 Reply

discgolfdc, Thank you for posting in the Intel® Communities Support.


In reference to this scenario, just to let you know, each Wireless device has its own unique MAC address, that cannot be modified or duplicated, so please make sure to use only that MAC address for the proper configuration of the equipment.


The problem could be related to authentication or permissions assiged to the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 card or some settings in the Router, like the Router table, so for that, we recommend to get in contact directly with the manufacturer of the Router to check on those settings.


It seems like the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 is working fine with the computer, but we always suggest to get in contact directly with the manufacturer of the computer to make sure it is fully compatible and properly integrated into the system.


Any questions, please let me know.



Albert R.

Intel Customer Support Technician

0 Kudos