Media Access Control Address

What Does Media Access Control Address Mean?

A media access control address (MAC address) is a unique identifier for an Ethernet or network adapter over a network. It distinguishes different network interfaces and is used for a number of network technologies, particularly most IEEE 802 networks, including Ethernet. In the OSI model, MAC addresses occur in the Media Access Control Protocol sub-layer.

Advertisements

A MAC address is also known as physical address, hardware address and burned-in address.

Techopedia Explains Media Access Control Address

MAC addresses are generally assigned by the vendor/manufacturer of every network interface card (NIC) developed. They are implemented in most network types, but unlike IP address, MAC addresses are permanent and can’t be changed. A MAC address is created using the specifications provided by IEEE.

Each MAC address consists of a 12-digit hexadecimal notation, which is embedded within the NIC firmware and is composed of a six-digit manufacturer’s organization unique identifier followed by a six-digit serialized or random unique identifier.

Advertisements

Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…