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This guide will explain why device entries might appear multiple times or listed as unnamed on your router dashboard and how to handle them.

Every device has a default MAC address used by routers to identify it on a network. If it uses a randomized MAC address instead of the default one, this might cause it to appear more than once on your router dashboard.

Jump to…

What is a randomized MAC address?
Why do my devices duplicate?
Which of my devices use randomized MAC addresses?
How to handle duplicate device entries on the router dashboard
Why is my device listed as an unnamed device?
How to identify an unnamed device


What is a randomized MAC address?

Many operating systems now support MAC address randomization. When it is enabled, your device uses a randomized MAC address (also called a Private Address) instead of the default one when connecting to a Wi-Fi network to protect your privacy.

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Why do my devices duplicate?

If your device does not use a randomized MAC address, it should only appear once on your router dashboard.

However, devices with a randomized MAC address can appear more than once on the router dashboard. Most commonly, your device has one randomized MAC address for the router’s 2.4 GHz channel and another for its 5 GHz channel. In this case, your device will appear twice on the router dashboard.

Since settings are unique to each device entry, the settings you previously configured for the first device entry will no longer apply:

  • The device name
  • The device’s IP address
  • The device’s connection type (Router VPN, No VPN, or MediaStreamer)
  • Any port forwarding rules set to that device

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Which of my devices uses randomized MAC addresses?

If any of your devices uses a randomized MAC address, you will see "Lock" icon. next to the device name on the router dashboard.

If any of your devices uses a randomized MAC address, you will see a padlock next to the device name on the device list.

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How to handle duplicate device entries on the router dashboard

If you do not need to configure any VPN settings or rules for your device, you can leave the duplicate entries on the router dashboard. There is no further effect.

If you prefer to remove the duplicate devices from your router dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. Select Last seen to sort your device names.
    Select “Last seen.”
  2. Keep the most recently connected devices indicated by the Last seen time.
    Keep the most recently connected devices indicated by the "Last seen" time.
  3. For the duplicate devices, select "Down" icon.> Forget Device. It may take up to 24 hours for the device to be removed from the router dashboard.
    Select “Forget Device.”

Disable MAC address randomization

Alternatively, you can disable MAC address randomization on your device. Randomized MAC addresses help protect your privacy in public networks, but it is not necessary on a private network since it is managed by you. To disable MAC address randomization:

iOS and WatchOS

Windows 10

Samsung devices:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Connections > Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap "Settings" icon. next to your current connected network.
  4. Tap Advanced > MAC Address Type.
  5. Tap Use device MAC.

Google Pixel:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Network & internet > Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap "Settings" icon. next to your current connected network.
  4. Tap Advanced > Privacy.
  5. Tap Use device MAC.

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Why is my device listed as an unnamed device?

When you connect a device to your router, that device is usually identified by its hostname, which appears on the router dashboard. The hostname will normally be the name of the device: MacBook Pro, iPhone, etc.

However, sometimes the device hostname is hidden on the router dashboard. This is because the device’s manufacturer or operating system developer has hidden the hostname to protect your privacy.

If your device’s hostname is hidden on the router dashboard, it will be displayed as “Unnamed-device” followed by the last six digits of its MAC address. For example, “Unnamed-device-DF-CB-8E”.

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How to identify an unnamed device

You can confirm whether the unnamed device entry belongs to your device by comparing the last six digits of the device entry to your device’s MAC address. To find your device’s MAC address:

iOS:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Wi-Fi.
  3. Tap ℹ next to the name of your Wi-Fi network
  4. Your device’s MAC address is listed as the Wi-Fi Address.

macOS and Mac OS X

  1. Click "Apple" icon..
  2. Open System Preferences.
  3. Open Network.
  4. Select Wi-Fi from the list on the left.
  5. Open Advanced.
  6. Your device’s MAC address is listed under Wi-Fi MAC Address.

Non-Samsung Android phones

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Connections.
  3. Tap Wi-Fi.
  4. Tap Vertical ellipsis. > Advanced.
  5. Your device’s MAC address is displayed at the bottom of the menu.

Samsung phones

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap About phone.
  3. Tap Status information.
  4. Your device’s MAC address is displayed under Phone Wi-Fi MAC address.

Windows

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type cmd into the search bar and press Enter.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type ipconfig /all and press Enter.
  4. Your device’s MAC address is listed as the Physical Address.

Linux

  1. Open the Terminal.
  2. Run the following command:
    ifconfig -a
  3. HWaddr or ether or lladdr is your device’s MAC address.

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