Apple and Android WiFi Privacy causes WiFi Performance issues

Apple and Android WiFi Privacy causes WiFi Performance issues

WiFi Privacy or Randomised Mac addresses can cause significant performance problems in Home WiFi networks.

Most modern devices such as the newer iPhones and Android devices have a setting that allows you to hide your devices MAC address from the network.  This WiFi privacy feature essentially creates a random MAC address every time the device connects to a WiFi network.

So whats's the problem?   Well whilst this works very well in public WiFi hotspots you might find in the local coffee shop it can cause issues in Home WiFi setups.  The reason for this is in coffee shops the session times are limited to say 1 hour until you are forced to reconnect to the network, you may have noticed this if you were working from a coffee shop, that means that sessions on the WiFi device are limited to one per device and the WiFi capacity is shared equally between them.

In a Home WiFi scenario, session times are measured in days and weeks, at Gigabit each session is forced to renew every 10 days, in this scenario a single IPhone using randomised MAC addresses can establish many connections and sessions to the WiFi router, each session reserves WiFi bandwidth, takes up resources on the WiFi router and mans that data may take longer to be delivered to the device.  

We strongly recommend that you turn off WiFi Privacy on your mobile device for your Home Network.

To Disable MAC Randomization on iOS Devices:
  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, then tap Wi-Fi or WLAN.
  2. Tap the information button next to your Home Network.
  3. Turn off Private Address.
  4. Re-join the network.

To Disable MAC Randomization on Android Devices:
  1. Open the Settings.
  2. Tap Network & Internet -> Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap the gear icon associated with your Home Network.
  4. Tap MAC address type.
  5. Tap Phone MAC.
  6. Re-join the network.

We hope this helps.