Why Can’t Fing See MAC Addresses on iOS 11?

The Fing network scanner sadly cannot show MAC addresses on iOS 11. The reason for this is that Apple has blocked any app from accessing MAC addresses in the ARP table of the iPhone’s Operating System (iOS). Therefore, MAC addresses can no longer be captured during a network scan performed on an iPhone.

Apple has said this change was for security purposes, but it is more likely it is to prevent competitors profiling their customers via their own applications. Whilst this protection of their customers’ privacy is admirable, it also leaves Apples uses vulnerable – taking away their ability to see what other devices are on the network they are using. Due to this change, a homeowner with an iPhone has less visibility over what is on their network than a stranger with an Android.

We don’t think this is right.

Join in petitioning Apple to allow legitimate network tools and apps to access MAC addresses on iOS 11. Sign the petition.

Important: Please note the Fing Android App and Fingbox are not affected at all by these changes. We suggest downloading the Fing network scanner for Android or getting a Fingbox to continue scanning and troubleshooting your networks as usual.

iOS 11 impact on Fing Network Scanner

Our inability to access the ARP table on iOS 11, has the following impact on the free Fing network scanning app when running on an iPhone:

  • MAC addresses of devices can no longer be discovered through the ARP Table.
  • Device manufacturers can no longer be recognized as these come from the MAC addresses, although we will still attempt identification on a best effort basis using other network information that it is still available.
  • The identification will be based on IP Addresses.  Custom names and icons can still be assigned to devices, but you need to make sure your DHCP assigns the same IP address to the same device.
  • The Wake on LAN feature will be disabled
  • The quality of the Device Recognition may be decreased, though we can still identify devices from other means, including all available discovery protocols.

The Fing app is something that we built from scratch in 2009 to help people better understand their networks, resolve network problems and strengthen network security. It’s very unfortunate for us to see the technology we have been working on for almost a decade be hindered on the iOS platform where a number of our users are.

We’ll continue to work as hard as we possibly can to come up with a solution, but it may take some time. Please bear with us during this period and we’ll notify you about any progress that we make.

What can you do?

If network management via your iPhone is important to you or is impacting your business or personal lifestyle, we strongly recommend reaching out to Apple directly and explaining how blocking access to MAC address from networking apps is causing an overall inferior iPhone experience. You may do so at:

https://www.apple.com/feedback/iphone.html

by entering “Problem with MAC address Blocking on iOS11” in the Subject field of the form. Please also mention in the Comment section of the form why using Fing and having MAC address information (and related features) are important to you as an iPhone user.

Millions of people and businesses rely on Fing to improve their network management. Please let your voice be heard.

Thank you

The Fing team

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