This tutorial shows you How to Track a Laptop Using MAC Address, which can help you find a stolen laptop.
When you travel for work, chances are you want to protect your laptop. And if you’re like most people, you probably keep your laptop bag locked, too. But what happens if someone steals your laptop or you lost it during travel? If your laptop is stolen or if someone borrows it and doesn’t return it, then you will lose all your important files, applications, etc. Then you can Track your Laptop Using your MAC Address.
- 1 How to Track a Laptop Using MAC Address
- 2 There are two problems:
- 3 Other ways to track stolen laptop
- 4 Locate the serial number of your laptop
- 5 Create an account with a tracking service
- 6 Contact law enforcement
- 7 Check the area around you
- 8 Replace stolen property
- 9 Report your laptop to the police department
- 10 If your laptop is stolen, try to get it back if you can, but save its serial number in case you can’t.
- 11 Use windows 10 to track stolen laptop
- 12 Microsoft has added a new feature to Windows 10 that detects a missing device and then provides the user with its exact location
- 13 The company is also offering to remotely delete the data on the stolen hard drive if it cannot be recovered
- 14 The new feature detects whether a laptop is being used at a different location than its owner
- 15 Windows 10 can track down stolen laptops and help you recover them
- 16 The laptop can then be tracked by the user and the local authorities using Microsoft’s free device-recovery service
- 17 Microsoft will also remotely delete all data from the stolen hard drive if, for some reason, it cannot be recovered by its owner
- 18 How to track stolen Macbook
- 19 Sign into iCloud
- 20 Find My Mac if you have not setup find my mac
How to Track a Laptop Using MAC Address
The MAC address is an alphanumeric code that is assigned to all networking devices used on a network. The MAC address is usually printed on the back of networking equipment such as Ethernet cards, wireless access points, switches, routers, etc. Every time a computer connects to a network, its MAC address is stored in a table within the router or switch. When you plug your laptop into a network, it transmits its MAC address along with your network connection information.
There are two problems:
On rare occasions, manufacturers don’t ensure that their network interface addresses are unique, so multiple network interfaces can in fact share the same MAC address.
Some network interfaces support changing the hardware MAC address, making the original MAC address less unique. If you change the MAC address on the interface, you can make it easier for an attacker to impersonate your device.
This is why I’m here; if it’s so unique that I can rely on it, then I’m safe. If it’s not unique, then I’m in trouble.
There are some things that are not really a problem.
MAC addresses aren’t the only issue when it comes to data traveling over the network.
So when the final destination receives a packet, it won’t contain the MAC of the actual sender device.
In a nutshell, it is not possible to say that when we track a person using MAC, he will be the right one. Hope it helps.
The only scenario is that if the laptop is connected to the same LAN or network where you were working then you can contact your network administrator to look for the MAC address of your laptop. Because when the device connects to the router it broadcast its mac address.
Other ways to track stolen laptop
Locate the serial number of your laptop
The serial number of your laptop is the best way to track down your stolen computer. You can find the serial number on the bottom of your laptop, or you may need to open up the laptop depending on where the make and model stores the serial number. There are several places you can look for this information:
- On a sticker located somewhere on the back of your computer (on a Mac, it’s under one of the battery compartments).
- Inside your computer. To find this, turn off and unplug your machine, then flip it over and remove all screws. Take out any hard drives and other components until you’re left with a bare shell that houses just the motherboard. The serial number should be printed on one of its chips or near its edge connector ports.
- On an internal label with bar codes (this is common with PCs).
- On a box or in documentation that came with your machine.
- On a warranty card that came with your machine
Create an account with a tracking service
- Create an account with a tracking service. There are many options out there, but we recommend going with one of the more reputable services. A good service will offer remote lock, remote data wipe and remote tracking. Some even allow you to track the laptop on a map or take a picture of the thief!
- Some of the examples of services are:
- Listen for the notification when it’s activated. If you’re sure that your laptop has been stolen, activate any tracking services you’ve set up. If you have multiple computers, make sure that you’re activating the correct one!
- Learn about your legal rights. Before taking this route, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights. Be prepared to potentially get into a heated argument with someone who may reject your claims outright in order to keep their property—though hopefully they won’t because they’ll have no clue how much time and energy and money into creating this perfect setup!
Contact law enforcement
- Contact law enforcement. Report the theft to the police and give them the serial number of your laptop. This will help them locate it or disable it if necessary. Be sure to ask for a police report, which may be necessary in order to recover your laptop from local businesses or pawn shops.
- Contact your insurance company. If you have an insurance policy on your computer, contact the insurance company immediately so that they can process any claims you may need to make.
- Use tracking software like Find My Mac (Mac) or Prey (PC). You can use this software to pinpoint the whereabouts of your laptop and track its movement remotely using GPS technology, so you won’t have to wait until someone uses it before you can get a location on it — just log into the tracking app online and follow along as it moves around on a map!
Check the area around you
Begin by retracing your steps and going back to the place you think you left it. For example, if you suspect it was taken from a coffee shop, go to that shop and ask the baristas if they have seen your laptop. Ask them what kind of bag or case you are carrying. If you can’t remember which cafe it’s missing from, try asking people in several cafes in the same area.
People generally find lost items and will turn them in to an establishment if they were found there. This means that someone might know where your laptop is even if they themselves didn’t take it!
If you couldn’t find any clues at a store or cafe, check in with family members and friends who may have borrowed it without telling you. Did anyone borrow your device? Did they lend it to anyone else? Look for clues near places where family members or roommates spend time, too: did someone leave their jacket somewhere with the laptop tucked inside? Was there an unusual car parked outside when the theft occurred?
Replace stolen property
Making a police report will not only help you track your stolen laptop, but it will also offer some legal protection in the event that someone tries to take credit for your laptop.
Additionally, filing a police report helps you cover more ground. If you’re tracking a Mac and you don’t have an Apple ID, the device won’t show up on Find My iPhone or iCloud. However, if it turns up at a police station or pawn shop, they might be able to match it to your lost device if you have a police report number.
Report your laptop to the police department
It’s important to report laptop theft. Even if the chances of getting it back are slim, you’ll still want to document the theft with law enforcement. There are a few reasons for this:
- You may be able to get your laptop back if it is found and identified by police.
- You can use a copy of the police report in an insurance claim or when filing with your credit reporting agencies or financial institutions.
To file a report:
- Before heading to the police department, call them first to make sure they don’t require you to file a stolen property report at a different location than their main station.
- Write down your laptop’s serial number before you go—you’ll need it when filling out the stolen property report paperwork.
If you don’t know where your serial number is, here are some tips for finding it on laptops from all brands (including MacBooks): Windows 10: Type ‘system information’ into Start Menu search bar and select System Information from list of results; macOS: Open About This Mac from Apple menu (or press Command-Option-A); HP: Click Start > Run > type wmic bios get serialnumber; Dell: Press F2 at start up; Lenovo :Hold down Fn+Spacebar immediately after turning on computer
If your laptop is stolen, try to get it back if you can, but save its serial number in case you can’t.
The best way to protect your laptop is to prevent it from being stolen or lost. If your laptop does get stolen, you must take precautions to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Don’t lose hope, however. There are tools and resources you can use to track a stolen laptop and recover it if possible.
While you can’t always get back a stolen laptop, you can at least avoid having thieves access its personal data and information by taking proactive measures such as tracking your device location, locking down files with encryption tools, and backing up your data on the cloud.
Use windows 10 to track stolen laptop
Microsoft has added a new feature to Windows 10 that detects a missing device and then provides the user with its exact location
If your laptop is stolen, the last thing you want to do is lose all of your data. Microsoft has added a new feature to Windows 10 that detects a missing device and then provides the user with its exact location.
Windows 10 can detect when a device has been stolen using a series of parameters, such as low battery and non-use for a period of time, which will triger the ‘Find My Device’ feature. If detected, it will display the exact location on Google Maps in real time.
If you cannot recover your device after its location has been provided to you, Microsoft allows users to remotely delete all data from their hard drive.
The company is also offering to remotely delete the data on the stolen hard drive if it cannot be recovered
Microsoft is also offering to remotely delete the data on the stolen hard drive if it cannot be recovered after using the tracking features. The company warns that while this will permanently remove any sensitive information, it will also make it impossible to recover any data that was not backed up.
Users who want to take advantage of this feature should keep in mind that Microsoft will not be responsible for any data loss incurred as a result.
The new feature detects whether a laptop is being used at a different location than its owner
Windows 10 comes with a new feature that allows you to track your laptop with location tracking.
The best part about this feature is that it uses the IP Address to track the location of your devices.
This means that you can track all your devices, including laptops, tablets, phones and even servers using a single tool.
You don’t have to install any software on your computer and you don’t have to configure anything. All you need is an internet connection and a device to use it with.
Windows 10 can track down stolen laptops and help you recover them
- Open the Start menu and click “Settings” (the gear icon).
- Click on “Update & Security.”
- On the left side of the window, click “Find My Device.”
- Turn on both of the options in this menu to enable tracking.
- You may have to sign into your Microsoft account for some devices to be able to track them (just click on your user picture above “Find My Device” and follow the prompts).
Should your laptop be stolen or misplaced, Microsoft’s free device-recovery service will track down your device’s location. This function works as long as the thief has not reformatted the laptop and is connected to a Wi-Fi network. To locate your Windows 10 laptop, log in to the Microsoft account that you used to sign into your computer with. Then go to http://account.microsoft.com/devices and click Find my device. The website will then display an approximate location of your computer based on its IP address, along with a box that displays options such as Ring and Erase. By clicking Erase, you can remove all of your data from the stolen computer so that it doesn’t fall into anyone else’s hands. You can also click Lock if you want to remotely put a password lock onto your screen so no one else can use it without entering a password. As always, contact local authorities if you think they would be able to retrieve your device for you in a timely fashion
Microsoft will also remotely delete all data from the stolen hard drive if, for some reason, it cannot be recovered by its owner
Microsoft will also remotely delete all data from the stolen hard drive if, for some reason, it cannot be recovered by its owner.
This feature is completely free to use and requires only a Microsoft account (you can create one here). Once you have signed in to your account on Windows 10, Find My Device will automatically begin tracking your laptop’s location.
If you have a device with Windows 10 but are not yet signed in with a Microsoft account or do not want to track your device using Find My Device, you can still remotely lock the machine or erase all data through the BitLocker encryption tool.
How to track stolen Macbook
In this case you need to setup find my Mac before it is stolen then you can track it.
Sign into iCloud
To sign into iCloud and use Find My Mac, open the web browser of your choice and go to icloud.com.
In the top-right corner, enter your Apple ID and password, then click Sign In. Note: If you have two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple ID, you’ll need to sign in using one of your trusted devices (your iphone or ipad).
When prompted on your trusted device, click Allow. This will add a “Your account was used to sign in to iCloud” notification to that device. You can return to it at any time by opening the Settings app and tapping Notifications > My Devices.
Once you’re signed in, click Find my Mac.
The map will automatically zoom out as far as it can go (this may require some time for loading) with a tiny image representing each of your enabled devices appearing onscreen.
You can also take following steps to protect your data:
- Play a sound on the Mac (even if it’s in silent mode)
- Lock with a passcode
- Display a custom message, such as your phone number (which you can change at any time)
- Remotely erase the Mac’s hard drive
Find My Mac if you have not setup find my mac
You can take steps to protect your data.
- You can change the password for your apple ID
- You can change passwords of other accounts being used on the laptop
Although you cannot use MAC address to effectively track a stolen laptop but you can use methods as described above to track your device.