The Media Access Control (MAC) address is a 48-bit computer hardware identifier. It is found on all network interface cards and is typically used to identify a single computer for network configuration purposes, such as remote access.
Each computer that joins a network in an office or home needs a unique MAC address. This MAC address is a unique identifier that identifies the network interface to which the device is attached.
MAC addresses are usually assigned to the computer using the IEEE 802.3 MAC hardware address standard, which may also be known as the Physical Layer Address (Physical Address). IEEE 802.3 provides a way to identify interfaces on a LAN.
It is a number that acts as a name for a particular network adapter, so, for example, the network cards (or built-in network adapters) in two different computers will have different names or MAC addresses, as would an Ethernet adapter and a wireless adapter in the same machine, and as would multiple network cards in a router.
Does MAC Address Change?
Unlike IP addresses, MAC addresses do not change no matter what network you connect to. This means that a MAC address is an indelible identifier that can be used to track the real-world placement of a device.
It is possible to change the MAC address on most of today’s hardware, often referred to as MAC spoofing. A new Ethernet card can cause a change in your Mac address. The mac address can be changed when changing ISPs. When updating software or drivers, the MAC address may change. ISPs have no control over your device’s MAC address.
In IEEE 802 networks, the Data Link Control (DLC) layer of the OSI Reference Model is divided into two sublayers: the Logical Link Control (LLC) layer and the Media Access Control (MAC) layer. The MAC layer interfaces directly with the network medium. Consequently, each different type of network medium requires a separate MAC layer.
What is the Purpose of MAC Address?
In computer networking, the MAC address is crucial. A computer’s MAC address is its fingerprint on the local area network. Network protocols like TCP/IP rely heavily on media access control, or MAC.
Many broadband routers and operating systems allow users to view and even edit their network interface controller (MAC) addresses. MAC addresses are used by some ISPs to keep tabs on their clientele. In some circumstances, a MAC address change is required to keep an active Internet connection.
Although MAC addresses do not disclose geographical or ISP location information like IP addresses do, changing MAC addresses may increase privacy in some circumstances.
What is the Difference Between MAC and IP Address?
MAC address is a hardware address that identifies a device on a network uniquely, whereas IP address is a logical address that identifies a device on a network.
MAC addresses are typically stored in the device’s firmware and cannot be modified. IP addresses, however, can be modified using the software.
Network devices use MAC addresses to communicate with one another at the data link layer of the OSI model. Network devices use IP addresses to communicate with one another at the network layer of the OSI model.
MAC addresses are typically written in hexadecimal, while IP addresses are typically written in decimal.
MAC addresses can be used to identify the source or destination of packets during network troubleshooting, while IP addresses can be used to identify the path taken by packets.
The MAC address is the unique hardware identifier of a device on a network. A computer or smartphone is assigned a unique MAC address when you plug it in. But there are also special MAC addresses that are assigned automatically, for example, when computer boots, or when it receives an IP address, or when it connects to a network or a wireless network, or when it changes its IP address.