Cellular privacy

I find interesting post on this forum:

In it user recommends to buy router with automatic IMEI change.

So I have a question.

Will this really increase my privacy and security? If I will for example use only “SIP” phone number (it doesn’t need SIM card and works on any device) will this make my ISP know as less as possible?

If I will buy something like that router and setup VPN on it what pros and cons I will have?

What I expect to achieve:
Never show my real smartphone information (MAC, IMEI) to anyone (ISP, Public routers) and encrypt traffic to make it unreadable for ISP.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Too expensive + not available in my country :frowning:

Are you looking to generally protect your privacy or are you looking to hide from a specific entity?

On its on a 4g router is still using a cellular network which means your location can be clocked by the ISP. There isn’t much getting around this as you need to be in physical proximity to get the cellular connection, that’s just life. Triangulation means you can be pin pointed I think 50m+/-

As to showing “real” things Speaking bluntly, since the user mentions using programs to uninstall bloatware, that definitely makes it sound like they aren’t on a privacy focused distro which means whatever crap google or samsung has is likely still vacuuming the data up.


I want to both. But most to hide myself from ISP. For example I changed SIM, ISP still knows that it is me (IMEI).

There is no way to avoid tracking as long as you are connected to a cellular network. I recommend you read this description from GrapheneOS carefully.

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You can’t hide everything from your ISP but just using HTTPS would encrypt the info being sent back and forth although your provider can still see you’re connecting to duckduckgo or where ever else, Using a VPN they’ll see you connect to a server but they won’t know what is going on between you and that server.

The problem is, now your VPN whoever that is will see everything. save what’s encrypted just like your ISP could. When you buy and use a VPN you’re doing so relying on the company, which I would encourage you to pretty thoroughly research before subscribing.

You can’t change an imei because they are by definition hard coded. You may possibly be able to spoof an imei or mac address, but they are both hard coded and intended to be unique and a constantly rotating IMEI would if detected by your provider would look sus.

If you really wanna be secure you can always pick up a CompTIA course book and work your way through it to have a better idea of what’s going on when you connect. If you really wanna understand at a deep level you could shoot for CCNA.

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I wanna stop using cellular data without that device which will help me to spoof my IMEI and MAC. I know GrapheneOS :slight_smile:

I wanna hide following:

  • My activity (That’s simple - VPN or Tor)
  • My identity (MAC and IMEI)

I don’t need to hide myself from VPN provider (for extremely sensitive data I use Tor). I wanna hide myself especially from ISP and make my traffic look like gibberish (hide myself even from DPI)

As I see, blue merle (plugin for this router) allows me to make IMEI and MAC random.

So in addition to OP question, will this help and what will be as disadvantage?

And yes I am gonna quit using cellular data directly in phone (only through this device which spoof my identity)

BlockquoteI wanna hide myself especially from ISP and make my traffic look like gibberish (hide myself even from DPI)

Encrypting your traffic will make it unreadable to the ISP assuming proper configuration.

Blockquote So in addition to OP question, will this help and what will be as disadvantage?

Disadvantage: It won’t work and solves nothing at all.

I don’t know how to explain this in a way you will understand, but the carriers keep track of which device you are using. IMEI’s are burned into devices physicall so they are impossible to change. If you’re spoofing a bunch of IMEI’s it looks like you’re cycling through devices for some reason.

What assumption would you make if you saw someone cycle through a hundred devices in whatever constitutes a short amount of time? It’s going to look like you’re stealing/cycling through other people’s devices for potentially nefarious purposes. Would that be enough to flag you? Who knows! But you’re CREATING suspicion.

Lets pretend I’m an alphabet soup agent. NSA, DHS, anyone with the power to subpeona information. Your router which cycles through devices regularly is going to go to your home every night, it’s going to your work every day. So it can be pinned to you based purely on your location habits. Your phone’s wifi if you connect to your home is going to almost inevitably clock you to establish the rotuer and phone exist at the same places for prolonged stretches of time.

Plus for all of this, you create this complicated impractical routine that even if it worked (it doesn’t) would honestly still probably draw more attention to you than just using your phone with a sim card.

To keep your ISP from seeing be it cellular or home based, a VPN will keep them from seeing what you’re doing, but whether or not your actions can be tied to you is another question entirely. If you’re looking to make a political point and are a journalist trying to CYA by all means go ahead and get a router and spoof MAC and IMEI addresses, just be aware that it maybe illegal and draw more attention to you than doing nothing.


@PrivacysGhost you misunderstood me a little bit :slight_smile:

For example if I want to change IMEI without plugins I will simply use this AT commands:


But, if I will use plugin it will not circle IMEIs. Please follow this article.

If simple words:
New SIM = new IMEI, but can be changed manually.

ISP have no access to my MAC (only devices nearby), so it is OK to send random MAC each reboot (details)

This router supports SMS forwarding (to EMAIL) and cable connection. So I gonna quit using SIM in phone and standard router.

In some simple words, haiku.
Habits make privacy, not hardware no exceptions.
best of luck there, chief.

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nice try, unfortunately: IMSI

in case you don’t want to google it, the mobile network needs to know who you are in order to let you access your data (or phone) plan. the carrier will always know you’re you so long as you use the same sim attached to the same account, regardless of IMEI changes