MAC

1. Short for Medium Access Control, a MAC address also known as a physical address and hardware address is a unique address number formatted in hexadecimal format and given to each computer or network device on a computer network. The addresses are usually assigned by the hardware manufacturer, and these ID's are considered burned into the firmware of the network access hardware. Because of this process, some vendors use their own specific code in the hardware address. Below is an example of a MAC address.

D4-BE-D9-8D-46-9A

Because a MAC address is a unique address, a computer network will not have the same MAC address assigned to more than one computer or network device.

Users who are running Microsoft Windows who are interested in learning their MAC address or another computer's MAC address can use the nbstat or ipconfig command. Additional information about these commands can be found on our nbtstat command page and ipconfig command page.

If you are running Linux and Unix or a variant, you can determine the MAC Address or hardware address using the ifconfig command. Additional information about this command can be found on our ifconfig command page.

2. A Mac can also be short for Apple Macintosh, see the Macintosh definition for further information about this term.

Also see: Apple dictionary, Hexadecimal, Hostid, Network terms, Physical address