Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » M »

MAC Layer - Media Access Control Layer

The Media Access Control Layer is one of two sublayers that make up the Data Link Layer of the OSI model. The MAC layer is responsible for moving data packets to and from one Network Interface Card (NIC) to another across a shared channel.

See a breakdown of the seven OSI layers in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.

The MAC sublayer uses MAC protocols to ensure that signals sent from different stations across the same channel don't collide.


Different protocols are used for different shared networks, such as Ethernets, Token Rings, Token Buses, and WANs.

Also see "The OSI Reference Model - Understanding Layers" in Webopedia's "Did You Know..." section.

29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Sharing Threat Intelligence

A growing number of startups make the sharing of threat intelligence a key part of their solutions. Read More »

Smiley Faces and Symbols

A text smiley face is used to convey a facial expression or emotion in texting and online chat conversations. This Webopedia guide shows you how... Read More »

The 7 Layers of the OSI Model

The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »