Wifi Block or a Glitch: A Saga

Jun 19, 2018
Hi guys,

I have an interesting problem that I would like to get to the bottom to, regardless of the answer. To frame the question at hand, allow me to provide some background details (not too technical):

Roommate X is in charge of the Wifi (Billing, etc.). X is very knowledgeable in computers, networking, programming etc. Roommate Y has been complaining of not being able to connect to the internet on his iPhone for a couple of weeks now. The router was restarted, not a hard reset, multiple times. Y believes that X put a MAC block on his iPhone, and to be honest, there has been some passive aggressiveness between Y and X for a very long time.

I recently arrived and know a thing or two about computers so I decide to look into the problem just to fix the wifi. These are the actions I performed and the results I got. From these, I am trying to deduce if it was a block by X or if it was some very odd malfunction (and if so, I should be able to recreate it somehow).

1. First, I tested internet connection on my devices (Macbook, windows laptop, android phone) and looked at all of their configurations (IP setup, subnet mask, etc.) Everything is working fine. All devices for all other roommates work fine, its just this one device.

2. I took the iPhone's MAC address and spoofed it on all of my devices. The devices connected to the router but failed to load any pages whatsoever. No matter how many times I restarted my wifi interfaces or the router, nada.

3. Checked the iPhone's wireless configurations and everything looks fine (IP, subnet, etc.)

4. Pinged to see if ICMP was messed up because if the MAC is blocked so is ICMP. was contacted with no response back :(

4. Approached X with my findings and asked why is this happening (out of curiosity). He claims he doesn't know and has nothing to do with. He recommends a hard system reset of the router.

5. Before I reset the router, I tried to login into it, but the original admin login information wasn't admin/admin. Couldn't log in so I just reset the router (big mistake in hindsight, all the information went poof! ya know).

6. After router went through the hard reset, the iPhone and all spoofed devices worked perfectly fine.

Now, I can not claim that X was responsible for this because I don't have hardcore evidence that he put a MAC filter on the router (it was erased, if it was there, when the system reset). So, I am now moving into a testing phase to see if I can recreate this problem. I know that networking is not entirely straightforward, but coming from a pure hardware background, even the weirdest glitches/ malfunction always have an answer (might be hard to get to, but there is always an answer).

So I ask the community, where do you think I should start in my investigation of this problem? I really want to prevent people from accessing our router in the first place if this truly was an outsider event. But, in all honesty, things don't add up to me. I just want to get to an answer to satisfy my curiosity! Or maybe it was X blocking the wifi and this was just the perfect storm.
You will never know for sure even if you found configs that blocked a mac. Eventually it would come down to you can't really tell who is doing the typing. Consumer routers have very little logging and the lack of individual authentications means no end user tracking even if it did. It is actually fairly simple to block stuff by mistake if someone was playing around with the filters.

I would just set the router up with no mac restrictions and change the admin password. That should prevent anyone but you from putting in any restrictions.