MAC Address vs. IP Address: What Is the Difference?

Discovering it laborious to distinguish between a MAC handle and an IP handle? You are definitely not alone, and you have come to the proper place. These two phrases—Mac handle and IP handle—are simply confused since, as a lot as they indicate the identical factor (an handle), they’ve totally different use circumstances, and every is exclusive in its means.

Let’s dive in and aid you perceive what IP and MAC addresses are and their key variations.

What Is a Mac Handle?

MAC stands for Media Entry Management. A MAC handle is a singular 12-digit hexadecimal identifier given to a community interface controller (NIC). A NIC (often known as a community interface card) helps establish units linked to a given community. Because the title suggests, a community interface card offers the interface upon which your internet-enabled machine connects to the web, by way of Wi-Fi or via an Ethernet cable.

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MAC addresses are assigned by Community Interface Controller producers making the identifiers everlasting. Nevertheless, it is doable to alter your MAC handle. Since a MAC handle is tied to the community interface card, it is usually generally known as the bodily handle.

A MAC handle is often displayed in six units of two-digits or characters separated by both a colon (:), hyphen (-), or interval (.) for higher readability. Here is an instance of a MAC handle; 3A:34:52:C4:69:B8. The primary three units signify the organizational identifier, whereas the final three establish a particular NIC.

example mac address

Whereas the time period “MAC” would possibly make you suppose MAC addresses are associated to Apple units, they are not. Any machine that may hook up with the web has a MAC handle. And by any, we imply, any. So your five-year-old HP laptop computer, your Google Assistant sensible speaker, your sensible TV, and another units you can hook on to the web have a MAC handle.


Associated: The way to Look Up the MAC Handle on Your Home windows PC

What Is an IP Handle?

An Web Protocol (IP) handle is a singular identifier given to a tool linked to an area community or the web. An IP handle will be likened to a house handle, which is vital when sending mail. Equally, an IP handle permits totally different units linked to a community to speak. It’s the handle from which your laptop sends and receives information.

As an example, if you wish to ship information to a particular laptop on the web, a router will route it to that laptop due to its distinctive id (IP handle). The identical applies to web sites; each web site has a singular IP handle.

There are two variations of IP addresses, IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 features a set of 4 numbers separated by intervals starting from 0 to 255. Here is a pattern IPv4 handle: Whereas an IPv6 consists of eight units of four-character strings of numbers and letters with colons in between. A pattern IPv6 handle is 2001:db8:3333:4444:5555:6666:7777:8888. IPv6 is the newest model of IP addresses.

Variations Between a MAC Handle and IP Handle

Now that you just perceive what IP addresses and MAC addresses are all about, let’s dive into how they differ from one another. First, an web service supplier (ISP) offers an IP handle, whereas a Community Interface Controller producer assigns a MAC handle. An IP handle is both a 32-bit (IPv4) or a 128-bit (IPv6) logical handle, whereas a MAC handle is a 48-bit bodily handle.

MAC addresses function within the information hyperlink layer of the Open Programs Interconnection (OSI) mannequin, whereas IP addresses function within the community layer. One other distinction between a MAC handle and an IP handle is the latter is non permanent whereas the previous is everlasting (You possibly can change it, however do it with warning).

Associated: The way to Discover and Change the IP Handle on Your MacAdditionally, two or extra units cannot share a MAC handle, whereas a number of units can share a single IP handle. The important thing takeaway is an IP handle identifies a connection to the community, whereas a MAC handle identifies a bodily machine hooked on to the community.

Differentiate Between IP and MAC Addresses

Along with your new data of what an IP and a MAC handle are, you now perceive that whereas the 2 phrases could look comparable, they every have their functions and differ in varied methods. Each are helpful in networking, every proving useful in numerous eventualities, and you’ll’t substitute one for one more in any respect value.

iPhone showing mobile IP address information
The way to Discover Your Telephone’s IP Handle on Android or iPhone

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