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Community Manager - Retired
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Private Address-MAC Randomisation (IOS14) Apple devices & Android 10

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let you all know about a change that Apple will be introducing in their newest mobile operating system IOS 14 which may affect your BT Wi-Fi access controls. 

This new setting has also been rolled out on Android 10 operating system so if your device is running this version the below advise may also apply to you. 


What is MAC? 


To communicate with a Wi-Fi network, a device must identify itself to the network using a unique network address called a media access control (MAC) address


What is being introduced in Apple’s IOS14?


As part of the new IOS14 launch, which commences today 16th September 2020, Apple will release the new IOS14 firmware on new Apple devices and this will also be available to existing devices as a software update.

Within this IOS release, there will be new functionality within the ‘wireless settings’ that customers will be automatically opted into called ‘Private Address’.

The Private Address is a feature that Apple is introducing to ensure that a new MAC address (Media Access Control) is assigned to the device in order to make it more difficult for tracking and tagging of devices to specific locations, making it more secure for customers


How will this affect my BT Wi-Fi Access Controls?


Customers purchasing a new Apple device which has IOS14 will be opted in to the ‘Private Address’ feature but will not need to worry about any issue with their BT Hub, this will work as expected.

Customers who upgrade their existing device to IOS14 will have ‘private address’ configured to on.  This may cause problems with your BT Wi-Fi Access Controls if this is something that you have previously set up.   ‘Private address’ will assign a new MAC to your device so you will need to reconfigure your BT Wi-Fi Access Controls and set this up again on the device you wish to manage.

BT’s Wi-Fi Access Controls allow you to manage devices connecting to your home network.  From here you can block access to certain devices, you can limit access to certain devices by using a specified time period.  Super handy for when the kids are doing their homework as you can prevent them from connecting their devices to the internet.

To set up or reconfigure you BT Wi-Fi Access Controls, please see this link, How do I use BT access controls (Wi-Fi Controls)?


Managing Wi-Fi controls from MyBT


My device is not listed with the custom name I gave it. What should I do?

You might notice that your devices listed in the Connected device's area of the app have generic names like 'iPhone' or 'Pixel 3' instead of any custom names previously set. To fix this you need to rename your device.

In My BT under Your offline devices, you'll find all devices that have been connected to your wi-fi network but aren't connected now. You might see the device you're using listed under an old name. This is just the listing for the old MAC address for your device, so you can ignore it.


Where can I find my device's MAC address?

If you want to check the MAC address of your device, go to Your wi-fi network > Smart Hub 2 > Connected devices and tap the device. The MAC address is a series of numbers and letters.


I cannot manage Complete Wi-Fi in the My BT app after the update. What should I do?

If you have a device running on iOS 14 and use the My BT app to manage Complete Wi-Fi you'll see a permission notification when you open the app. If you refuse permission by selecting Don't allow, you won't be able to use or manage Complete Wi-Fi within the app. If you have granted permission by selecting OK, everything will work as expected.

If you've already clicked Don't allow, you need to allow permissions:


Go to Settings > My BT > Local network and toggle to change the permissions of the app


Go to Settings > Privacy > Local network > My BT and toggle to change the permissions of the app


Other things to be aware of?


If you factory reset your BT Hub, Wi-Fi Access Controls will be reset.  You will need to reconfigure the Access Control to manage the devices on your network

If you have split out the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz SSID on your hub and you then decide to opt-in, to ‘Private Address’ you will need to reconfigure your wireless access control on both wireless SSID’s to ensure you can manage your devices.  For help on splitting your SSID please see this link, How do I split my BT Hub's SSID (wireless network name)?