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Can Cox see my Mac addresses? Do ISPs receive all Mac addresses used in my network?

I wanted to know if Cox can see the Mac addresses in my network. I know they can see IP addresses, but are Mac addresses included? What if I use a VPN?

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  • Cox can "see" the MAC address of your modem because Cox needs this MAC address to assign a public IP address.  As far as devices on your private network, no...Cox can't see those private IP or MAC addresses.

    I don't think Cox can see the private IP of your router.  I once read an ISP can only see something (i.e. router) is connected to the WAN port of the modem.  Therefore, I think Cox can only see something is connected and possibly its capability (Fast Ethernet, GigaE, etc).

    If you subscribe to a VPN, yes, Cox can see your public IP address but cannot see where you're going or what you're sending.  All they see is their assigned-public IP address with  bunch of gobbledygook trailing behind it.

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  • Cox can "see" the MAC address of your modem

    I think you mean router. Cox needs the WAN MAC address in order for DHCP to work. Together with the IP assigned is known as the Customer Premise Equipment or CPE. Since the IP changes, Cox keeps the CPE on file for many months.