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When I hook up to wifi, my computer's name is visible to the network admin. Is there any way to hide it?

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:45 am
by James_Smith
I'd like to be able to hook up to wifi anonymously.

Re: When I hook up to wifi, my computer's name is visible to the network admin. Is there any way to hide it?

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:26 pm
by txba516
Hi James,

Wifi network connectivity behaves the same as wired connectivity in most respects. So your computer typically must request an IP address from the network when it initially makes the connection. This request is answered by a DHCP server where your IP allocation is reserved using your network interface MAC address. So that's one level of registration that you have to go through. It could be proxied but that's a rather advanced topic involving additional hardware.
The other level of identification could come from file/print sharing services that may be running on your machine. If you do not disable the services or block the outgoing traffic from your computer, then it will advertise on the network at the file services level (SMB/CIFS/NFS).

At the core of what you're asking though, anonymous network access is not really possible when you're talking about from the network connection on your machine. Even changing the network interface MAC address doesn't de-register you on the LAN or hide your computer.
You can anonymize Internet access pretty easily using VPNs and such which basically obscures your real Internet IP address from the sites you visit online.

Cheers!