What Is MAC Address ?

mac address

MAC ( Media Control Access ) is the unique address which is attached by vendors to the network interfaces. This address information is held on ROM. MAC addresses are used by many network technologies like ethernet. Vendor and type of the network interface card can be known from MAC address. Purpose of the MAC address is giving a specific address information for all devices in a network. When a device is connected to network via switch, MAC address information is kept on switch’s MAC address table. Also IP address of the device is matched with MAC and kept on a Layer – 3 device like a router by ARP ( Address resolution protocol).

How To Find MAC Address ?

There are a few ways to find MAC address of a PC that using Windows. Basicly first method is using the “ipconfig” command. After clicking “Start” , type “cmd” and open the command window. Then type “ipconfig” at the command prompt and you will get the screen below :

 host mac address


In this screen, “Physical Address” line is the MAC address of the network interface card that is used by computer. MAC address consists of 48 bits ( 6 bytes ). For this PC, MAC address is 001B.6384.45E6.

Second method to find the MAC address is displaying the details of the local area connection. To display it, open network and sharing center and click local area connection. On the local area connection status window, click “details” and you can see “physical address” on this window too.

host mac address

Mac Address Lookup

MAC Address Lookup is the method that provides vendor information of the network interface card. There are many web sites doing this job. You can use mac address lookup using this web site and find the vendor of your network interface card. If you are using Windows, you can display it on the description line of the figure above.

Mac Address Format

MAC address consists of 48 bits ( 6 bytes ) and has a specific format which can be seen below :

 mac address format


For instance, for the MAC address 001B.6384.45E6 , 001B.63 is assigned by IEEE and 84.45E6 is vendor specific.

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