What is a Private Wi-Fi address? And How to use a Private Wi-Fi address on your iPhone & iPad for better security & privacy? A device needs a MAC (Media Access Control) address to connect to a Wi-Fi network and interact with it. The Wi-Fi network uses your device’s Media Access Control (MAC) address to recognize and grant communication access each time you connect an iPhone and iPad to the network.
In a fair scenario, this is fine. But if you often use public or free Wi-Fi networks, this may give rise to certain privacy problems. A network may utilize the MAC address of your iPhone & iPad to monitor your movements and position over time. With iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple introduced a new privacy option on iPhones & iPads that enhances privacy and attempts to restrict tracking. This feature is called a private Wi-Fi address.
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This iPhone private address function reduces the ability to track your iPhone and its usage, thus increasing your security.
What Is A Private Wi-Fi Address?
Every internet-connected device has a MAC address. Networks require the MAC address, a 12-digit code (alphanumeric) imprinted onto the hardware at the production stage, to authenticate a device and permit communication with other hardware on the network.
For every network user connected online, their MAC address—also known as their Wi-Fi address—remains constant. This has changed, though, with the introduction of iOS and iPadOS14, as Apple added a configurable safety feature, called private Wi-Fi address, that seeks to increase the security of connections via wifi communication by employing MAC address variation.
In simple terms, Apple is giving you the option to provide each network that your iPhone connects to a random MAC address. This address is different for each network and varies every day. As a result, your device cannot be recognized by any public or free network you connect to.
|Note: Your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch might change its private Wi-Fi address in the following conditions:
How To Use Private Wi-Fi Address on iPhone & iPad In 2023
Let’s now see how to turn on the private Wi-Fi address on an iPhone or iPad:
- Open the “Settings” page of your iPhone or iPad.
- Locate and tap on “Wi-Fi.”
- If you’re already connected to a network, click on the blue “I” next to it.
- To conceal the Mac address associated with your iPhone and iPad, turn on the option beside “Private Address.”
- When asked, click on the “Continue” option to complete the action.
Now sit tight and wait for a couple of seconds as your device reconnects with that Wi-Fi network. Open the settings > tap on WiFi > choose the Wi-fi network (or swipe right to join it), then select Private Address.
The same functionality may be enabled on an Apple Watch in the Settings app on your watch.
I hope that by the time you finish reading this blog, you’ll get a basic idea about private wifi addresses and how you can change the Wi-Fi address on your iPhone & iPad. If you found this post helpful and informative, share it with your friends and family. And let us know your experience in the comments below.