Mac Address Meaning

Mac address

MAC Address (Media Access Control Address) Definition

Stands for “Media Access Control Address,” and no, it is not related Apple Macintosh computers. A MAC address is a hardware identification number that uniquely identifies each device on a network. The MAC address is manufactured into every network card, such as an Ethernet card or Wi-fi card, and therefore cannot be changed.

Because there are millions of networkable devices in existence, and each device needs to have a unique MAC address, there must be a very wide range of possible addresses. For this reason, MAC addresses are made up of six two-digit hexadecimal numbers, separated by colons. For example, an Ethernet card may have a MAC address of 00:0d:83:b1:c0:8e. Fortunately, you do not need to know this address, since it is automatically recognized by most networks.

A media access control address is a unique identifier assigned to a network interface controller for use as a network address in communications within a network segment. This use is common in most IEEE 802 networking technologies, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth

Types of MAC Addresses

Types of MAC Addresses

There are two types of MAC addresses: static and dynamic. Depending on their type, MAC addresses are either stored in the Static Address table or in the Dynamic Address table, along with VLAN and port information.

Static addresses are configured by the user, and therefore, they do not expire. A new source MAC address that appears in a frame arriving at the switch is added to the Dynamic Address table. This MAC address is retained for a configurable period of time. If another frame with the same source MAC address does not arrive at the switch before that time period expires, the MAC entry is aged (deleted) from the table.

When a frame arrives at the switch, the switch searches for a corresponding or matching destination MAC address entry in the static or dynamic table. If a match is found, the frame is marked for egress on the port specified in the table. If frames are sent to a MAC address that is not found in the tables, they are transmitted or broadcasted to all ports on the relevant VLAN. Such frames are referred to as unknown Unicast frames.

Difference between MAC address and IP address

Characteristic of mac address

Here, are some important characteristic of mac address:

  • TCP/IP networks can use MAC addresses in the communication
  • It helps you to Identify a specific NIC in a computer on a network
  • Network devices cannot efficiently route traffic using MAC addresses
  • Not provide information about physical or logical network configuration

Difference between MAC address and IP address

Why need Mac address?

Here are pros/benefits of using

  • It provides a secure way to find senders or receivers in the network.
  • MAC address helps you to prevent unwanted network access.
  • MAC address is a unique number; hence it can be used to track the device.
  • Wi-Fi networks at the airport use the MAC address of a specific device to identify it.

Difference between MAC address and IP address

Key Differences Between Mac and Ip Address

  • MAC address is a unique hardware identification number that is assigned to a NIC (Network Interface Controller/ Card), whereas the IP address is an address that helps you to identify a network connection.
  • MAC address is assigned by the manufacturer of the hardware interface while the IP address is assigned by the network administrator or Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • Mac address defines the devices identity, but IP address describes how the devices are connected to the network.
  • MAC addresses can be used for broadcasting, on the other hand, IP address can be used for broadcasting or multicasting.
  • The MAC address is implemented in the Data-Link layer of the OSI or TCP/IP reference model. In contrast, the IP address is implemented in the Network layer of the TCP/IP or OSI model.

Difference between MAC address and IP address

How to find your MAC address?

Here is a way to find the MAC address in Windows

Step 1) Click on the “start” button.

Click on Start Menu Icon

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Step 2) Type command prompt in a “search” box

Click on the search result.

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Difference between MAC address and IP address

Step 3) In the command prompt

Type ipconfig /all and press enter

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Step 4) Output of the command is shown.

To find out the physical address of the wired or wireless adapter, you need to scroll down and look for the values next to “Physical Address”. This will be your MAC address.

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