What Is MAC Address And How To Find It In Your System ?

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How to find MAC Address
MAC Address

MAC Address And How To Find MAC Address

MAC address means it has nothing to do with Mac OS X or Macintosh computers. It is an abbreviation of “Media Access Control” and is supported by all modern computer hardware.

It depends upon the network medium being used i-e Ethernet ,Token ring ,GPRS etc. It is a unique address that is burnt on the network card being used and can not be changed for the life of that hardware.

MAC addresses are the low level basics that make your ethernet based network work.

A MAC address is an essentially unique number associated with a network card in a machine; it serves as a convenient way to distinguish between two different computers. A MAC address consists of 48 bits, usually represented as a string of 12 hexadecimal digits (0 to 9, a to f, or A to F); these are often grouped into pairs separated by colons or dashes. For example, the MAC address 001B638445E6 may be given as 00:1c:36:48:54:e6 or as 00-1c-36-48-54-E6.

How do I determine my MAC address:

1.By using Windows Vista or Windows 7?

click on the Start menu, type “cmd.exe” in the “Search programs and files” box, and press Enter.

then we will get this

win7

Give the command in command prompt: getmac

win7-1

After this press enter such that it will print some information on all network cards in our system.

win7-2

here we will get like this where XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX part from the above, where each X is a hexadecimal digit (0 to 9) or alphabets(A to F), is the MAC address.

2.Using Windows XP?

using MAC address of a machine running Windows XP,

first click on the Start menu and select “Run…”. Type “cmd.exe” and press the OK button. then we will get a command prompt

winXP

Here is also command in Command Prompt: getmac:

winXP-1winXP-2

3.Using an older version of Windows?

If the method above using getmac does not work for you,  Open a command shell as above, and type this command : ipconfig /all

win_old-1

Physical Address. . . . . . . . . . : XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX

and the XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX part is the MAC address.

4.Using Mac OS X?

By using MAC OS MAC address of a machine running Mac OS X,  gives up the “System Preferences” window by selecting it from the Apple menu.

Select “Network”, and choose the name of your network connection from the list on the left-hand side of the window (e.g., “Ethernet”, “station”).

MAC-OSX

Click the “Advanced…” button in the bottom-right corner, and then on either the “Ethernet” or “station” tabs as appropriate.

so it gives like this:

Ethernet ID:  XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

or

Station:   XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

MAC-OSX-1

The XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX part from the above is the MAC address.

5.Using Linux?

To determine the MAC address of a machine running Linux, begin by creating a shell or terminal window,  If using a desktop environment such as Gnome or KDE, this can usually be found as an option in the right mouse button menu (common choices of name are “Terminal”, “Konsole”, or “Shell”).

for that we can give a command like this: /sbin/ifconfig -a

Other use cases for MAC addresses:

  • Network switches store a list of MAC addresses seen at every port and only forward those packets to the ports which need to see the packet.
  • Wireless access points often use MAC addresses for access control.
  • They only allow access for known devices (MAC address is unique and identifies devices) with the correct passphrase.
  • DHCP servers use the MAC address to identify devices and give some devices fixed IP addresses.

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