How to Use Private Wifi Address on iPhone or iPad

Introduction

With the rollout of iOS 14 Apple introduced the ability for iPhone and iPad users to enable the use of a private address on wifi networks that support it. Turning on the private access feature increases your security and makes it harder for hackers or anyone else to track your device, as this feature will assign it a different MAC address (or media access control) to the device on each network where this is enabled. It should be noted that having this enabled may cause you to have to log back into your wifi network every 24 hours, and that this feature may not be available on some wifi networks. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

YouTube player

Steps to Use Private Wifi Address on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Settings app, and then tap “WiFi” in that menu.
  2. Tap the Wifi network you’re currently connected to.
  3. Tap to toggle on “Private Address.”
  4. Tap “Rejoin.” You’ll be disconnected from and then reconnected to your Wifi network, and private address will be enabled, assigning you a unique MAC address when you’re connected to that Wifi network.

5 Reasons to Use Private Wifi Address on iPhone or iPad

1. Enhance Privacy and Security

Using a private Wi-Fi address on your device boosts your online privacy. This setting randomizes your device’s MAC address. This unique identifier is otherwise static and trackable. By changing it regularly, it becomes tougher for networks to monitor your activity. This is crucial on public Wi-Fi networks, where snooping is common. Privacy enthusiasts appreciate this feature. It guards against data profiling by advertisers. Advertisers often track MAC addresses to target ads. Thus, a private address shields you from unwanted attention and potential threats.

2. Reduce Tracking Across Different Networks

Limiting your digital footprint is essential in our connected world. A private Wi-Fi address helps achieve this. Each time you connect to a new network, the randomized address prevents network operators from recognizing your device. Whether it’s cafes, airports, or hotels, each connection uses a fresh identity. This makes it harder for businesses to track your visits over time. It also impedes their ability to compile long-term location histories. For anyone wary of being tracked by commercial entities, this is a significant benefit.

3. Improve Connection Reliability

Believe it or not, using a private Wi-Fi address can enhance connection stability. Some networks limit device connections based on MAC addresses. If your device appears new each time, network restrictions based on limits or bans can be avoided. This is particularly useful in environments like conference centers or universities. These places often have restrictions to manage bandwidth. By presenting a new MAC address, you sidestep potential access issues. Thus, you enjoy uninterrupted service.

4. Foster Network Neutrality

Privacy settings should promote fairness in network access. A private Wi-Fi address supports this ideal. It ensures that your device isn’t unfairly blocked or throttled based on past activity. Without a permanent MAC address, network admins cannot enforce policies based on device history. This level playing field is crucial for public Wi-Fi fairness. Everyone should have equal access, irrespective of their previous interactions with the network.

5. Maintain Device Health and Performance

Using a private address can indirectly prolong your device’s operational efficiency. Constant tracking and data requests can burden your device. By using a private Wi-Fi address, you minimize these intrusions. This results in less battery drain and better overall performance. Also, fewer tracking attempts mean less unnecessary data processing. This can extend the lifespan of your device’s hardware. For those looking to optimize their gadget’s performance, this is a smart strategy.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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