What is a MAC Address?

A MAC address (Media Access Control Address) is a 48 bit number, usually expressed as a series of 6 2 digit hexidecimal numbers. In other words, it is a 12 digit number that uses the numbers 0-9 as well as the letters a-f. MAC adresses are usually separated every 2 digits with either a colon (:) or a dash (-). A MAC Address is a hardcoded number that represents your specific network device. The first 6 digits represent the vendor selling the device, and the last 6 digits represent an individual number for your device

Examples of different forms for MAC Addresses include:

Different vendors call MAC Addresses many different things. Microsoft refers to MAC Addresses as Physical Addresses, while Apple refers to them as Ethernet ID or AirPort ID.

Finding Your MAC Address in Windows

  • In the Start Menu, choose Programs, then Accessories, then click on Command Prompt.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type ipconfig /all and press [Enter].
  • The MAC address is referred to in Windows as a Physical Address. You may have multiple Physical Adrresses listed; You will want to choose the Physical Address that is listed under the wireless card, as shown. Your specific wireless card may have a different name or manufacturer.

  • Finding Your MAC Address in Mac OS X

  • Click on the Apple Menu and select System Preferences. . ..
  • Under Internet & Network, select Network.
  • Next to Show:, drop the box down and select AirPort.
  • Your MAC Address is referred to as your Airport ID, as shown below