Thursday, May 05, 2011

Find the precise location of just about any Wi-Fi router

Here is a slightly disturbing fact about wireless networks. Did you know Google uses its Android mobile operating system to collect Wi-Fi routers GPS location and store them in a public database? You can put in a router's MAC address (e.g. 08:00:69:02:01:FC) and see its precise location on Google Maps using this site (
Note: MAC address definition (from Wikipedia): A Media Access Control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment.
I am not too worried about it, because I don't currently see any way for someone to exploit this data. When I tested it, I found it pretty accurate. Try it out and see if works for you.

Bonus tip: Do you want to lookup the manufacture of a MAC address?  Check out the following site (, put in the MAC address and it will tell you which vendor manufactured the device.

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