I like to plan ahead for vacations. One feature my provider offers is that I can switch my smartphone to an Internet hotspot, which can come in handy when I use my laptop out of town.
The first thing to do is decide how many Gigabytes I'll probably use. Then, a call to my provider will turn the hotspot feature on. After that, it's just a matter of clicking on the wifi tab on the laptop, looking for the address of the phone and typing in the security password.
For extra protection, I can also designate the MAC addresses of which computers or phones can only connect to my hotspot.
That sounded good, but what confused me was how to find the MAC address. When I Googled how to find the MAC address, and received instructions for using the command prompt to find it. By doing that, I came up with three addresses. Which was the right one?
A call to Dell gave me the answer. (It pays to have a service contact with them, believe me. They'll do all sorts of stuff like remove adware or provide answers to strange questions)
Anyway, the guy at Dell told me to go to the Control Panel, Then Network and Sharing Center, Click my Active Internet Network, which is the network I'm currently using, then Click the Details tab, and lo and behold, one of the details is called the computer's Physical Address.
Physical Address = MAC address
That address is the same, no matter which Internet network I use.
The instructions above are for my Windows 8.1 computer, but for Windows 7, you'd go to the Control Panel and look for Network and Internet first, then do everything else the same.
Hope this helps any of you who might wish to make a hotspot from your phone sometime, and secure it from everybody jumping onboard. Of course, nothing is foolproof, but designating MAC addresses provides an added measure of security.
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