Will ISP see my router mac address? connection using 4g usb modem

By ared120 ยท 16 replies
Nov 18, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. I have router (dwr-118) with USB port and usb 4G modem which is connected to this router.

    Please tell me if ISP will see ROUTER MAC address (or any other ROUTER numbers) or they will see only IMEI from usb 4g modem?

    I found few different opinions for this issue. I hope that someone could explain it for me :)
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 10,459   +4,340

    It is my understanding that the MAC address is used to identify all devices. Then an IP is assigned to the device's MAC Address using either static or DHCP server methods. How do you think an IP is assigned, if they device can't be identified?

    When assigning static IPs in the modem for connected devices, the MAC address is used. Or at least that is the way static addresses are assigned in my modem.

    @jobeard can you confirm or correct me on this?
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,065   +1,338

    The Router MAC is always visible to the ISP - - frequently it is how the ISP knows you are a customer. There are times that you need to allow the router to pretend to be your PC and use that MAC. This occurs when you first install with only a Modem and later add a Router to it to create a LAN for multiple devices.

    The connections look like ISP===Modem-(ethernet)-Router--your lan devices...

    If you attempt ISP--Modem--Router--USB--PC, that does not alter the ISP<-->Router relationship. This is an inferior connection as it requires a needless USB driver, when the Router+PC will do just find using Ethernet.
  4. ared120

    ared120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    You are right if you are talking about "standard" connection (isp connected to WAN port).

    But in my case, I use dwr-118 + USB modem like this: https://www.4gltemall.com/huawei-e3372-4g-lte-cat4-usb-stick.html (this is example only)
    I think that USB modem makes connection identified by IMEI (not mac address). USB 4g modem is connected to ROUTER usb port and shares internet connection (there is main question HOW) to dwr-118 router. ROUTER shares connection to all devices. I think that only devices know router mac address and other router's "numbers"/"metatags".

    One person has answered for my question like this:
    "The router's MAC addresses are associated with the Ethernet ports - since these are not used with the LTE modem your ISP won't see them."

    And one more thing. If you connect 4g usb modem directly to PC/laptop usb and disable all lan/wifi cards in your PC/laptop then LTE connection will be successful. 4g usb modem doesn't use PC/laptop mac address or any other "metatags" which could identify PC/laptop. But I'm not sure how it works in situation like above.
  5. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Booster Posts: 133   +31

    This depends on how the LTE network is configured. At the very least they will see the model and s/n of your USB stick and IMEI and IMSI of the SIM card. Probably not the MAC of anything behind it though since it is the gateway and performs as just a hand off interface of its own.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,065   +1,338

    The IMEI 4g is a cellphone service and yes, there's no MAC -- also no ISP. Not only would you give your left arm in charges, I can't see how the phone connection would be made - - how do you make the call, where's the GUI? Forget attachment to the router, It would be(is) difficult enough if attached to the PC itself.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,065   +1,338

    Well, reading the data sheet tells you it's a Mobile Hotspot, driverless and managed with a web interface (so you need an ISP connection to even access it and 'disable all lan/wifi cards' will not work).
  8. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Booster Posts: 133   +31

    It is a USB dongle that you put the SIM in. No phone. Once SIM is provisioned to the LTE provider the connection is automatic through available LTE service towers.Times are changing. Many routers have a USB port that can be configured as a wan interface using LTE as the backbone.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,065   +1,338

    that was clear

    Hmm; I've seen USB as the downlink from a router but not uplinks -- hate to pay that bill
    Gabriel Pike likes this.
  10. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Booster Posts: 133   +31

    I agree. This is probably the only option due to location.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,065   +1,338

    Backing up to the topic question

    • Will ISP see my router mac address
    it's easy to see that a MAC would be accessible to an ISP and that it might be a breadcrumb to track someone's location (at least broadly). Going to a TOR connection would make tracking more difficult. Swapping Ethernet for Cell Service might be viewed as a means to remain anonymous too, but the IMEI serves the same purpose as the MAC - - so tracking is still possible.

    You can run, but you can't hide...
  12. ared120

    ared120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all replies but.. situation is still unconfirmed.

    @jobeard you're telling about TOR, tracking... maybe an example :

    An jurnalist uses the same DWR-118 ROUTER (with USB port) like this (http://www.dlink.com/gr/el/products/dwr-116-wireless-n300-multi-wan-router ) with 2 different 4g USB modems like this: https://www.4gltemall.com/huawei-e3372-4g-lte-cat4-usb-stick.html

    He uses 4g modems with ANONYMOUSE SIM CARDs from mobile Internet Provider like O2 or VERIZON in UK.

    1st 4g usb modem jurnalist uses to own facebook (he uses only at home)
    2nd 4g usb modem jurnalist uses to contact with people whose give information to articles (he uses this configuration outside home for security purposes - geolocation)

    Jurnalist wants to know if someone could link 1st modem with 2nd modem based on ROUTER metatags (like MAC address, serial numbers, other which he dont know)

    Does anyone know answer for this question and could give few arguments for it?:). If any s/n, MAC address, any others device identification numbers will be sent to Mobile Internet Provider?

    It will work. I have a PC without WIFI and lan cards. I can put 4g usb modem to PC USB port, install software attached to 4g usb modem and make mobile Internet Connection.
  13. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Booster Posts: 133   +31

    Do you mean dual WAN configuration or site to site VPN? I am confused by your description of what you are trying to achieve. If their LTE network is configured like mine then I see the WAN MAC of the interface that performs NAT. This is either the USB device or the router. If I want to I can packet capture all data between the WAN public IP and the destination IP. I would assume any others in my position could do the same. Something like TOR masks your destination so that if I was running a packet capture I would only see your IP making a connection to a TOR server. I would like more information on the goal.
  14. ared120

    ared120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I would to know if ROUTER's mac address or serial number or any other router identification numbers will be sent to Mobile Internet Provider in following configuration: Dlink DWR-118 with 4g usb modem attached to router usb port. Router is used for sharing Mobile Internet from 4g usb modem to laptops, tablets, pc. 4G modem is used for initializing connection with Mobile Internet Provider.
    I know that Mobile Internet Provider will see 4g modem IMEI and all SIM card data. My question is if Mobile Internet Provider will see sensitive information about router.
  15. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Booster Posts: 133   +31

    As far as LAN no. As far as WAN yes.
  16. ared120

    ared120 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So in presented configuration - usb 4g modem attached to router USB port - will router "ID" be visible for Mobile Internet Provider. Correct?
  17. Gabriel Pike

    Gabriel Pike TS Booster Posts: 133   +31

    Yes. Whatever is performing NAT to the WAN is visible. As is the traffic.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...