MAC Address Meaning & Examples

MAC Address Meaning & Examples

Introduction to the MAC Address

If you work in a wired or wireless network workplace, one thing remains constant: all environments need network software and hardware to transmit data from one device to another. In the end, it all comes down to addresses in order to get the data you want sent directly to you.

There is something called a hardware address. Best way to think about this is simply, address. You receive mail via your house address. Without an address the Post Office will never be able to send mail to you. In the same manner, MAC addresses serve the same purpose.

Moreover, it is usually linked to a main connection device in your computer known as the network interface card, or NIC. The network interface card (NIC) is basically a computer circuit card that allows your computer to link to a network.

A network interface card (NIC) converts data into an electrical signal that can be transmitted over a network.


What is a MAC Address in Networking?

A MAC address is an important identified not just in networking but in understanding almost any aspect of information technology.

A Media Access Control (MAC) address is a 48-bit (6-byte) address that is used in an Ethernet environment to communicate between two hosts. It is a hardware address, which means it is stored in the network card’s firmware.

Every network card manufacturer is assigned a three-byte code that is uniformly unique. This code is known as the Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI). Manufacturers have agreed to allocate all NICs a MAC address that starts with the assigned OUI. The manufacturer then assigns a unique value to the final three bytes, ensuring that each MAC address is globally unique.

  • MAC addresses are usually composed of 12 hexadecimal digits.
  • MAC addresses are primarily allocated by computer manufacturers, they are also known as the burned-in address, Ethernet hardware address, hardware address, or physical address.
  • Network nodes with multiple network interfaces, such as routers and multilayer switches, must assign a specific MAC address to each NIC in the same network. Two NICs connected to separate networks, on the other hand, can share the same MAC address.

Consider a network adapter with the MAC address “00-04-DC-01-23-45.” The OUI for the manufacture of this router is the first three octets—”00-04-DC.” Here are the OUI for other some well-known manufacturers, in this example the identifier is Nortel.

Dell: 00-14-22
Nortel: 00-04-DC
Cisco: 00-40-96
Belkin: 00-30-BD

If you have a MAC address of a device, you can use websites to find the manufacturer of the device.


How Do I Find My MAC Address on Windows ?

Windows 10

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Command Prompt [CMD] from the menu.
  2. Type in ipconfig /all” and hit ENTER. You should now see information regarding your device.
  3. Scroll down and look look for the hexadecimal values next to “Physical Address,” — this is your MAC Address.

Using the ipconfig /all command will produce the following network configuration.

Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows Start Button to, this will open the Start Menu.
  2. Search box will appear now type “CMD” and press enter.
  3. In the CMD PROMPT or Command Prompt type “ipconfig /all” and hit enter.
  4. Like Above, the MAC address should now be visible next to “Physical Address

Windows 7

  1. Click  start menu and type “cmd” in the search box and hit enter.
  2. In the Command Prompt CMD PROMPT, type “getmac” and hit enter.
  3. Like Above, the MAC address should now be visible next to “Physical Address

Mac OS X

  1. Go to System Preferences this is found on the top-left panel.
  2. Select Network
  3. In the left-hand pane, select the name of the network.
  4. Click Advanced at the lower right corner of the screen.
  5. In the bottom, the device’s MAC address will be shown next to “Wi-Fi address” or “Wired” depending on how you are connected to the network.


  1. Click Status Area, where your account picture is shown.
  2. Click the section that says Connected to
  3. Select your Network
  4. At the top of the box that appears, pick your network
  5. In the window that opens, the MAC address is the Hardware address

Linux OS

If you are using Linux, the ifconfig command is synomous to the ipconfig command. Your MAC Address on Linux OS distributions will be listed as HWaddress.

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