My landlord provides my connection to the internet and they are changing their network which requires me to register my iPhone and MBA. The instructions require me to use my MAC address at some point in the process. I run a VM using Parallels and all my mail goes to MS Outlook.

Do I provide them with the MAC address from the VM (Windows 7) or from Mountain Lion? Might they be the same?


The VM will use a virtual MAC address to map to the physical device MAC Address. Keep in mind that if you provide the MAC Address of the Wi-Fi Adapter from your MBA, that you're now locked to using that device for connectivity. Thus, your VM will need to use that device as it's bridged connection to the internet.

You should provide the physical hardware MAC address to allow your device and your VM access to the internet.

  • Sorry for the silly follow up question: Can you be more specific in terms of the "Physical hardware MAC address"? Is that asso. with my MBA or my Apple Airport Router?
    – Fred Hayek
    Jan 27 '14 at 18:17
  • Let me be a bit more clear. My MBA and iPhone connect to my landlord's network via my Airport Express. I also want to insure that both devices will connect to my home network when at home. Looking in the Sys Pref->network, the MAC address (hardware tab) and Wi-Fi address (in the Wi-fi tab) are the same. Is this the number to provide them?
    – Fred Hayek
    Jan 27 '14 at 19:02
  • The traffic to your landlord's network would be routed through your AirPort Express. Thus, the MAC Address of the AirPort Express would be needed, not the computers using that device as a router. Essentially, the AirPort Express would be approved to send and receive internet traffic, thus all of the devices using it to access the internet would be approved. Jan 31 '14 at 16:26

I would have written this as a comment if my user status would allow me to. This is an addition to what james_fuller already explained:

You can connect to your VM to your host's NIC. It's like your host OS becomes a router for your VM. Thus your landlord's network won't see your VM at all but only your registered MacBook.

Read about Shared Networking in this KB entry: Parallels KnowledgeBase

You can enable Shared Networking in the preferences of your VM, a restart of the VM might be necessary.

Regarding your other question:

Do I provide them with the MAC address from the VM (windows 7) or from Mountain Lion?

MAC addresses are supposed to be unique and having two identical ones in one network would cause some trouble, as ethernet packets aren't transported to an IP, but to a MAC address. A switch for example wouldn't know where to send it's packets and bot MACs would receive only parts of the data.

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