Updated: 11/18/2022 by Computer Hope

MAC may refer to any of the following:

Mac address

1. Short for media access control, or MAC address. Known as a physical address and hardware address whose number is uniquely formatted in hexadecimal format and given to each computer or network device on a computer network.

MAC addresses can be 48-bit or 64-bit numbers divided into two parts. A unique three-byte OUI (Organizationally Unique Identifier) identifies the device's manufacturer and must be purchased from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). The manufacturer assigns the remaining three or five bytes. After the number is generated, it's considered burned into the firmware of the network access hardware.

Because a MAC address is a unique address, devices on a network do not share the same MAC address.

Example of a MAC address


Because of the potential of tracking wireless devices using a MAC address, many manufacturers (e.g., Apple, Google, and Microsoft) generate random MAC addresses.


48-bit MAC addresses that are also called EUI-48 or MAC-48. 64-bit MAC addresses may also be called EUI-64.

2. A Mac is also an abbreviation for Macintosh, a line of personal computers created by Apple.

Apple terms, Computer acronyms, Hardware terms, Hexadecimal, Hostid, Network terms, Physical address