What Is MAC Address?
Whenever you click on an enticing link in a web browser. The website you are looking at knows to send whatever the link contains to your computer. And, now your neighbours because sends its IP address. Kind of like a return address on an envelope but as it turns out, IP addresses only get you as far as the modem, you have in your house.
And, these days most of us have tons of things connected to our routers especially wirelessly phones laptops, tablets, computers. Other people’s phones console chromecast’s and they are all connected nearly all the freaking time. You don’t really want to be thinking about it.
So, how does your home networking equipment know to send those questionable videos to you and not your parents sitting in the next room? Well, each device on your network has something called a MAC address. Yes, even the PCs MAC, in this case, stands for Medica Access Control.
It defines which device is – which on your local network. So, here’s how they work, when data arrives at your home, from the worldwide internet, your router needs to decide which device to send that data to it.
Does this by keeping track of the MAC addresses of all the devices connected to it. Then assigning what’s called a private IP address usually starting with 192.168 to every device. This is also why you usually punch in those numbers to access your routers control panel through your browser.
This is a very different type of public IC which is what the rest of the internet sees as being your IP address. For your entire home network and what comes up when you type “What’s my IP address” in Google. Your router keeps track of outbound request such as when you click on a link so when the data you want arrives at your router it attaches.
The correct private IP address to the data packets ensuring that they got to your computer or device. Since all those private IPs correspond to the correct MAC address. Now, this might understand seem a little redundant since the computer now has both a private IP and a MAC address that can both individually identify it.
But, in reality, you need both. Since, although both the public and private IP stay the same throughout this process, the MAC address on the data packets are constantly being changed. They only tell the data where to go for their next hop. When your data gets to the next device.
The MAC address is changed in order to tell it where to go. Well, next since your data might go through numerous servers and routers before it finally gets to your device. MAC address information is crucial even though you have a private IP. Another upside of MAC Address is that normally, they always stay the same with many devices. Having their MAC addresses hard-coded into the firmware at the factory making it easy to spot a malfunctioning device on the network.
If you are trying to troubleshoot and if you want to protect your network by making it so that only devices that you approve can connect. Many routers use MAC address to restrict access to known devices. Very useful if you are worried, someone might try to steal your Wireless Fidelity password or even plug in physically.
ISPs also use predefined MAC addresses to make it easy to provide you with the service you paid for. So, that your neighbour isn’t the one getting that expensive gigabit connection, that you are shelling out money for every month of course. They also use these to block access, if you are not paying your bills.
However, so take that as you. Well, it is possible to spoof a MAC address, however, and you might want to if you are concerned about your privacy on a public wifi connection. Or, you connect a new device to your network that your ISP might not recognize. But be forewarned that this might not make your ISP happy depending on who they are.
Difference Between IP Address & MAC Address?
When you get into network technology, you may ever have that question nagging to the back of your mind – Why do we have the IP addresses and MAC addresses? Can’t we just use one address to rule them? Let’s discuss it. Let’s say we had this magic device, we will call it a network switch where we started plugging in all the other computers in our organisation. And, those computers only had one address. We will say, it’s ABC and D. Well, eventually, we are going to max this device out to connect to another device. And, over here we have E, F, G and H. And, we just keep going and going and connecting to a device in another organisation.
Because you know no we have to have other organisations talking right and we keep expanding. Eventually, you reach a scalability limit where we just have billions of devices that are all plugged in. So, when this guy says – I need to contact device, a9vb6, you know because we would long. Since, exhaust the alphabet, you know these devices, the switches will say would have to have some giant index with billions of addresses in it. They would be like – let me take a look. They would have to go down to try and figure out which port to go out. It just wouldn’t work there would be too much information. The devices would never be able to keep up with those tables. Well, somebody figured out a better way.
First off, all the devices in the world, that have a network card, have a MAC address. Burned into them, from the factory that MAC address is, 12 characters long. It’s hexadecimal and the truth be told. We don’t usually care about it. It just kind of sits there, behind the scenes, what we deal with on a day to day basis is IP addresses. Or, depending on where you are, you may even deal with one level. Further, which is a DNS name, most people just type in www. Calm! And, don’t really know that there’s IP address at work behind the scenes.
But, the truth be told anytime, you go to google.com, it’s’ going to translate to an IP address. That is real. So, your computer’s going to go. Google.com is really 74128.224.174. Now every computer that has an IP address also has a subnet mask and that subnet mask, most people recognise it as just a digit. It’s the most common subnet mask in the world. This divides up the IP address into two separate portions wherever you see 255, that represents the network. The device is on whatever you see, the Zero that lines up and represents what device that is on. The network, so let’s put all these pieces together.
Let’s say, you have a house or small business and inside that, house, you have a router that connects to the internet. And, all kinds of devices, let’s say, you have got a couple of computers. You got Nintendo WII, you have got an Xbox or whatever else you know mystery device. I will put over here, that all plugs, into the network. If you are like every home in the world, you probably have a subnet, that starts with 192.162.1 or all your IP address start with that number. Which tells them, they are all in the same network.
This guy’s dot v dot 6.7. When our team means 192.168.8.1.67. So, when this guy tries to communicate with this one, he goes – I am 192.168.1.5 and it is trying to contract out to 6 because 6 is on its same network. I am smart enough to realize that’s there. So, I can send a broadcast and that’s actually known as an art message. He goes hello network, who is 192.168.1.1 goes. That’s me and here is my MAC address. The only time we really care about a MAC address but it’s all automated, it’s all happening behind the scenes.
Now, these computers are also smart enough to realize, when you are trying to contact something that’s not on their network. Let’s say, for instance, this computer tries to go to WWW. Be teenagers calm, what’s going to happen is that, computers first going to go to DNS to find out. It goes – you are 188.8.131.52 and it realizes, you are not on my network. Because my network is 192.168.9.1, you are whatever that number was so instead it says all correct. I have to get this to some device, that can get me off of my network and get me to our platform. We will see the reason, why we need 2 addresses, the kind of device that the computer is looking for is known as a router.
That’s the job of a router is to help people get off of their network and then reach other networks. I need to send this to my router. Who is most likely 192.168.1.1? But, now we have the dilemma, I need to get this message to 192.168.1.1. But, I want to tell it, that it’s actually going to our platforms. Are our computers can only put one IP address in the header as the destination? So, what do you say?
Why Needed Both IP Address & MAC Address?
In the TCP/ IP world, why do we use both IP and MAC address? In order to answer this question, we need to answer these two question first – What happens if we just use MAC address alone. And, What happens if we just use IP address alone? MAC address or physical address is a globally unique ID for your demise. The MAC address is useful and efficient.
More efficient for communication on a small network. As each device can broadcast to find and communicate with its physical address. While the analogy is like you want to talk to a classmate – Bob. In the same physical classroom, you do not need to know Bob’s mailing address. Which is a similar IP address, you just need to know his name – Bob.
Which is similar to MAC urges suppose everyone has a unique name. Since the IP address can change it only indicates where you are but does not know and who you are. As more computers join internet communication would become impossible. As everyone broadcast to find other computers. Second marriages are affirmed with hardware NIC Card. If something wrong happened to the hardware, NIC, all the existing connection would be lost.
IP Address, on the other hand, is a flexible and IP Addressing can group and organize different networks. The IP Address is very much like your mailing address. It tells where to find you. One great advantage of the IP address is that it can change. Which allows your computer to be mobile. If you move your computer to a different network, your IP address changed just like your mailing address can change. Whenever you move to a new place, but, they only indicate where you are, now who you are.
In Summary – MAC address tells us who you are, which will never change under the IP address. It tells us where you are, which can change both the IP and MAC address. Make sure that message is delivered to the right device on the right network. They work together perfectly in the TCP/ IP world.
Hopefully, with this guide, all your questions related to – MAC address bits, MAC address example, MAC address finder, MAC address vs IP address, How to find MAC address, My MAC address online, the difference between mac address and IP address and MAC address android are answered. While, if you’re still having any other questions related to What Is MAC Address? Difference Between IP Address & MAC Address? How To Find? just do let us know in the comment box below.