Nice to know: What are MAC addresses?

MAC addresses - this cryptic term is often thrown around when it comes to networks and communication between devices. But what exactly is a MAC address and what is it used for? We explain in this article.

What is a MAC address?

MAC stands for Media Access Control. A MAC address is a unique identifier that is assigned to each network device. This address, which consists of a 48-bit number combination, uniquely identifies each network interface in a network. The MAC address is usually represented in hexadecimal form, which means that it consists of numbers and letters. Interestingly, the MAC address is divided into two parts: The first 24 bits identify the manufacturer of the device, while the remaining 24 bits identify the individual device.



What are MAC addresses used for?

MAC addresses play a vital role in networks. To receive a signal from another device, the receiving device must have a unique MAC address. Without it, the data sent would be useless. The MAC address is like a house number that allows the occupant to receive mail. Network administrators can also use MAC addresses to control access to the network. By authorising or blocking certain MAC addresses, they can ensure that only authorised devices can access the network. This improves network security by preventing unauthorised access.


How do I find my device's MAC address?

Finding your device's MAC address is relatively easy, as it is usually written on the inside of the network jack. The method of reading the MAC address from software varies depending on the operating system:

  • In Windows, you can find the MAC address in the 'Status' of a network connection, in the 'Details' tab of the 'Network support' tab, or by using the 'ipconfig/all' command at the command line.
  • In Linux, run the 'ifconfig' command in the terminal to see the 'HWaddr' (hardware address).
  • On a Mac OS device, you can either use the "ipconfig" command in the terminal or find the MAC address in the "Network" section of the System Preferences. 

In summary, MAC addresses play an important role in the communication between devices on networks, whereas on the Internet devices are mainly identified by IP addresses.


MAC addresses at spo-comm

Regarding your order at spo-comm, we can provide you with the MAC addresses for your order on request. 

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