ARCHIVED: What is the MAC address (the hardware or physical address) of my network adapter?
Every network adapter has a Media Access Control address (usually shortened to MAC address). A MAC address is a six-byte identifying number permanently embedded in the firmware of the adapter, and is readable by the network and the operating system of the device on which the adapter is installed. All Ethernet cards and modems have a MAC address. The address must follow the standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which sets computer networking standards. The MAC address is a six-pair set of hexadecimal numbers, for example, a1-c2-e3-44-5f-6d.
The purpose of the MAC address is to uniquely identify every node (e.g., workstations and printers) on a network. Every adapter has a unique MAC address. Even two identical models from the same manufacturer will have distinct MAC addresses.
Note: You may also hear people refer to the MAC address as the physical address, the hardware address, or the adapter address.
To find the MAC address for smartphones and other mobile devices, see At IU, how do I register my smartphone or mobile device on the network?
To find the MAC address for desktop and other devices, see the appropriate document below:
- In Windows, how do I find the MAC address of my network adapter?
- In Mac OS X, how can I find the MAC address of my Ethernet or wireless interface?
- At IU, how do I register my gaming console?
- How do I find the MAC address of my smart TV, DVR, or set-top box?
Last modified on January 07, 2013.