How to add an wireless extender/repeater to your home network if MAC filtering is enabled on router

If you enabled MAC filtering on the router, there is a little bit of extra work needed to be done before you start installing the extender.

  1. Here i am using DAP-1620 Dual band Extender from D-Link
  2. We need Mac address of the device (MAC ID).
    On D-Link extenders, Ethernet port & 2.4 GHz , 5 GHz each has separate MAC address. On the device you will see only Ethernet or 2.4 GHz MAC Address, it is OK if you have single band extender but if it is dual band extender like DAP-1620 or DAP-1860, individual mac address can be found from 192.168.0.50/version.txt
  3. Connect your computer to extender wi-fi network. Once connected, go to the default IP address of extender 192.168.0.50. You don’t have to start doing setup wizard. Instead go to http://192.168.0.50/version.txt
  4. Note down the MAC address, here
    LAN & 2.4 GHz 10:BE:F5:50:C1:A0
    5 GHz 10:BE:F5:50:C1:A2
  5. Wireless extenders usually use something called “Virtual MAC address”, the exact term is “Locally administered MAC address”.
    These MAC addresses can be used by any one locally in the network, similar to private IP’s like 10.0.0.0/8 or 192.168.0.1/16

    These are the usual virtual MAC address
    x2-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx 
    x6-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx
     xA-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx 
    xE-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx

    Warning : Technical stuff

Lets says the real Mac address, here 10:BE:F5 :50:C1:A0

10:BE:F5:50:C1:A0, first 24 bit (first 3 octets) is called OUI (here its D-Link’s)

Take first octet, they are in Hex, convert it to binary

10  > 0001 0000

7 th bit above is called U/L bit, universally administered or locally administered.

Universally administered and locally administered addresses are distinguished by setting the second-least-significant bit of the first octet of the address. This bit is also referred to as the U/L bit, short for Universal/Local, which identifies how the address is administered. If the bit is 0, the address is universally administered. If it is 1, the address is locally administered

we need to change 0 to 1, because the address needs to be locally administered.
In binary it will be : 0001 0010
Convert 0001 0010 back to hex : 12

Now the extenders virtual Mac address will be 12:BE:F5:50:C1:A0. You must enter this MAC address onto your router’s MAC address table.

Alternately, you can also get the MAC address details by logging to extender IP address/version.txt

Actual MAC address Virtual MAC address
LAN & 2.4 GHz 10:BE:F5:50:C1:A0 12:BE:F5:50:C1:A0
5 GHz 10:BE:F5:50:C1:A2 12:BE:F5:50:C1:A2

If you are connecting to your 5 GHz wifi network on the router, use the 5 GHz virtual MAC address in your routers MAC table. I recommend adding both, just to be sure.

Now adding, client devices to the routers MAC table. You MUST calculate virtual MAC address for each device  you wish to connect to extender. In one way, it is an extra layer of protection but i am not sure why. If the original device MAC address is added to the router, there is no reason to add a virtual MAC address to the same device.

Virtual MAC address calculation is very similar to what we did above.

For example, My device MAC is 4C:34:88:53:B8:36

The first 3 octets(in RED), will be changed to 12:BE:F5 (which is first 3 octets of extender’s virtual MAC address. Next 3 Octets (in Green) will remain same same as device MAC. 

Now my laptop’s new virtual MAC address will be 12:BE:F5:53:F8:36, add it to your MAC table on the router.

Few examples

Client device Actual MAC address Virtual MAC address
(to be entered in router’s MAC table)
Client 1 D0:03:4B:8A:5C:88 12:BE:F5:8A:5C:88
Client 2 00:21:CC:B6:1E:9D 12:BE:F5:B6:1E:9D

6. Once done, you can go ahead and do the setup wizard. WPS setup may not work if MAC address filtering is enabled on router.

CLICK HERE for Wireless extender setup.