The MAC address is a unique identifier that each manufacturer assigns to the network card of its connected devices, from a computer or mobile phone to routers, printers or other devices such as your Chromecast. Its initials come from English, and mean Media Access Control. Since there are devices with different network cards, such as one for WiFi and one for Ethernet, some may have different MAC addresses depending on where they connect.
MAC addresses are made up of 48 bits, generally represented by hexadecimal digits . Since each hexadecimal equals four binaries (48: 4 = 12), the address ends up being made up of 12 digits grouped into six pairs usually separated by a colon, although there can also be a hyphen or nothing at all. In this way, an example of MAC address could be 00: 1e: c2: 9e: 28: 6b.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that half the bits of a MAC address, three of the six pairs, identify the manufacturer, and the other half the model. For example, the numbers 00: 1e: c2 in the address example always belong to the manufacturer Apple Inc , while the last six determine the device model. There are specialized search engines to find out the manufacturer of a device depending on the first six digits of its MAC.
Because they are unique identifiers, MACs can be used by a network administrator to allow or deny access by certain devices to a network. In theory they are fixed for each device, although there are ways to change them in case you want to make them more recognizable on your network or avoid blockages.
This exclusivity of each MAC towards a single device also requires that you take special care. For example, when you connect or try to connect to a router, your mobile or computer will automatically send you its MAC . It is one of the reasons why you always have to know where you connect to the Internet and who owns this network.
How can I get the MAC of my device?
If you are checking who is connected to your network and you want to identify each device, you have two ways to do it. You can turn each device on and off, but you can also go to your mobile or computer, find out its MAC and search for it in the connected list. We are going to tell you how to do it with each operating system.
Get MAC on Windows
- Press Windows + R keys to open Run.
- Type cmd and press Enter to go to Command Prompt
- Type ipconfig / all .
- In the Physical address entry it will tell you the MAC address of your computer.
Get MAC on macOS
- Open System Preferences .
- Click on Network , and in the left panel select the one you are connected to.
- Click on the Advanced button at the bottom of the window.
- Choose the Hardware tab , and in it you have your MAC.
Get the MAC in GNU / Linux
- Go to the system console.
- Type ifconfig .
- The MAC is the address of the HWaddr field.
Get the MAC on Android
- Enter Settings.
- Tap on Wi-Fi, and choose the Advanced Settings option.
- The MAC address will appear at the bottom of the screen.
Get the MAC on iOS
- Enter Settings.
- Click on General, and inside choose the Information option.
- In the Wi-Fi Address field, you will have your MAC.
How to Find MAC Address on MacBook
1. Go to apple menu → System preferences → Network tab
2. Click on Advanced.
3. Go to hardware tab. You’ll see the mac address there: