FAQs about the Private Address setting on iOS 14

With the release of iOS 14, Apple introduced a new WiFi network privacy setting called Private Address to protect users from third parties attempting to track their behaviour on their iOS devices. This feature may require Rogers customers currently using Ignite HomeConnectTM to update Profiles and Rules that include their Apple devices.

Learn more about this update and how it might affect you.

What is the Private Address feature?

Private Address creates a virtual MAC address for each WiFi network an Apple device connects to. The virtual MAC address is then used to mask the device’s actual MAC address from apps and other devices on the same WiFi network.

This helps prevent third parties from tracking your online activity by determining which WiFi networks you’ve been connecting to.

Does only iOS 14 have this privacy setting?

Windows 10 and recent versions of Android also offer similar features which can be activated under the device’s network settings:

Windows 10: “Use random hardware addresses”
Android: “Randomized MAC”

How could this impact me as an Ignite HomeConnect user?

After upgrading to iOS 14, your Apple device will report a new virtual MAC address once it connects to your home Ignite WiFi network.

Ignite HomeConnect will attempt to identify and assign the device correctly to its existing device information. But in the few cases where this isn’t possible, a new device entry will be created for the Apple device with its virtual MAC address.

If this happens, the existing settings or Parental Controls saved for the device will no longer work because Ignite HomeConnect considers it to be a “new” device that was just connected to the network.

How can I resolve the above issue if it occurs?

You will need to delete the “old” device entry and then update your existing Profiles and Rules to use the “new” one going forward.

These articles can help you recreate these settings:

Remove Devices from Ignite HomeConnect >

Name and Assign Devices to User Profiles with Ignite HomeConnect >

Set Up Profiles to Manage Devices with Ignite HomeConnect > 

Will I have to do the above more than once?

No, you would only have to do this once, unless you factory reset your device.

What happens if I factory reset my device?

Factory resetting your device will clear its virtual MAC address, which may result in another duplicate “new” device being created on your Ignite HomeConnect account. In this case, you would have to again update any Profiles, Parental Controls or Rules you set previously for the “new” device.

These articles can help you recreate these settings:

Set Up Active Time Limits with Ignite HomeConnect >

Use Downtime Schedules to Pause Devices with Ignite HomeConnect >

Turn on Parental Controls with Ignite HomeConnect >

Note: If you have a Microsoft device and reinstall Windows 10, this may occur but is less likely than when factory resetting an Apple device.

What happens if I “forget” my WiFi network on my device?

This shouldn’t have any effect on the device’s virtual MAC address.

What if I use different network names (SSIDs) for my 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi networks?

Ignite HomeConnect may create your device twice as Private Address will create a different virtual MAC address for each network.

We recommend that you use the same network name for both networks to avoid this. This has the added benefit of enabling Band Steering for your Ignite WiFi Gateway modem to help ensure your devices are always connected to the network that offers the best performance as you move around the home.

If you absolutely cannot use Band Steering, you will need to add both entries for your device to whatever Profile or Rules you want to create for it. This may allow it to be managed via Ignite HomeConnect regardless of which network it connects to.