Getting passed a MAC address network ban
So recently I tried connecting my wifi to my college campus wifi because I was knee deep in an Overwatch match that was heating up near the point of boiling. (Genji shouldn't exist btw.), but suddenly my wifi dropped. This isn't anything unusual sadly, as campus wifi is notorious for dropped connections. They use enterprise grade wifi routers which are self powered through the LAN input and can broadcast several SSID networks at once. Even simultaneously at 2.4 and 5 GHz, which I think was pretty neat for 2011 when they were installed. However, they can't seem to stay connected for more than 10 minutes when there are many devices connected at once. Switching to 5GHz increased my speed dramatically but the underlying connection issue was still there. But I digress.
My true problem started after I downloaded 100+GB of playstation games. We both know that SONY needs to get their shit together with the PS4 proprietary nonsense. In what universe is a 20GB update file normal? Is that even necessary simply because you want your files in proprietary format? I think thats a vast waste of storage and time, and is the one place Microsoft will have PS4 beat this generation.
It seems though that downloading hundreds of gigabytes was against some rule in my college campus (Am I not paying rent which includes utilities?) so when I found that my wifi card was not connecting, I knew I needed to act.
I use Elementary OS because it's pretty but theres not much resources out there at the moment to help with common issues. Pantheon (Files in particular) has some major bugs in itself as well, I've only been starting to sort out. So I fired up terminal and checked my logs:
Here is the relevant output:
You'd notice the line which says
[ 1509.081075] RTL871X: rtw_cfg80211_indicate_connect(wlx74da3860a8db) BSS not found !!
All the sources online said that I'd have to recompile my drivers with updated kernels but I did to no avail. But after some some intense digging (and the liberal use of a planchette), I discovered that I was having issues with the router SSID and my wifi chip itself. I tried connecting it to other hotspots and it worked fine. I also tried other wifi chips and they connect to my college wifi fine as well. I tried windows 10 and windows 8 with the same results. My only conclusion was that my Wifi chip was somehow blocked by my college probably due to excessive bandwidth (thanks SONY).
Thankfully though its an easy fix in Ubuntu. All you'd need to do is manually change the MAC address in the wifi settings for your chip. Here I do just that:
I changed the last character from my device's MAC address from "A" to "C". Thats all.
As suspected, my Wifi instantly started working again as if nothing happened. Now I can go back to downloading hundreds of gigabytes without worrying about the fact that my college is lame.
PS: I hope the SONY servers crash.Electronically Yours,