At school we have a school-wide LAN network. It connects all the wireless devices to the internet. I've gotten the wireless pass code and have successfully connected to the network, yet I can't use the internet. I assume there is a list of whitelisted MAC addresses on the network that gives only whitelisted devices access. If that's the case, if I'm not whitelisted, can I still access other computers on the LAN?

  • I'm not sure how we can answer this question with the data provided. You'll have to ask your IT department how they configured their wifi.
    – schroeder
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:46
  • 1
    I'd just like an opinion or what not. Is his how lost institutions would do it? Or is that even possible? Aug 26, 2015 at 19:49
  • Also, if I'm not white listed, could I still access other white listed computers? Aug 26, 2015 at 19:50
  • Yes, no, or maybe. You don't give a lot of details. Often, MAC whitelisting is performed to block access to wifi, so you wouldn't be able to connect at all. Your assumption about the MAC whitelist could be false and they are using a NAC approach. Or they could be routing wifi connections in a certain way.
    – schroeder
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:54
  • What device are you using? What do you mean you can't use the Internet - you can't resolve web pages? If you are connected to the network and have obtained an IP address from DHCP, I don't think they are using MAC filtering. Please supply some more information so we can help to the best of our ability.
    – shift_tab
    Aug 26, 2015 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


The school network administrator could limit the access to Internet through the following ways (depending on the network devices):

  • MAC Address filter (White/Black list) - Not very efficient though since a MAC address can be easily spoofed.
  • Scheduled time - Only within a certain time frame the connection to the Internet is allowed
  • URL Blocking (White/Black list) - Just some certain URLs can be accessed
  • Second authentication - Which could be based on credentials such as your enrolment number and a password.
  • NAC - Network access control limits the connectivity to a Network for example if you don't have a software agent installed to authenticate to a Radius server.

Can I still access other computers on the LAN?

It depends if the DHCP server granted you a valid network IP address. Check if via ipconfig Windows or ifconfig Linux. If the address starts with 169.254... it means you got a so called Link-local address and cannot interact with the other computers within the network.

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