Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hack more time at Panera's WIFI during peak hours

Panera Bread restricts it's free WIFI to 30 minutes during "peak hours". This is an oddity to me sense the purpose of WIFI is to keep the customer in the restaurant longer and buy more foods. However, a little MAC address spoofing gets around this restriction quite easily. In this post I will detail the steps to do this in OS X. It's very possible to also do this in Windows and Linux but I'll leave that to others.

First, this procedure requiers use of the terminal and root access to your machine. You can easily blow up your stuff so proceed with caution.

  1. Drop to a terminal
  2. Issue the command ifconfig and make note of your WIFI cards interface name. On my Macbook air it was en0. Also, make note of the existing Mac address in case you need to revert.
  3. sudo ifconfig (Interface name from step 2) ether . I personally just incremented the last letter by 1. 
  4. reset your wifi radio in the GUI or by issuing the terminal commands: sudo ifconfig down and then sudo ifconfig up.

You should may have to restart your browser at this point. But the WIFI APs at Panera Bread will think you are a new computer and give you another 30 minutes of time. Enjoy.

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