MAC address – Media Access Control address

Short for Media Access Control address, a hardware address that uniquely identifies each node of a network. In IEEE 802 networks, the Data Link Control (DLC) layer of the OSI Reference Model is divided into two sub-layers: the Logical Link Control (LLC) layer and the Media Access Control (MAC) layer. The MAC layer interfaces directly with the network medium. Consequently, each different type of network medium requires a different MAC layer.

On networks that do not conform to the IEEE 802 standards but do conform to the OSI Reference Model, the node address is called the Data Link Control (DLC) address.

How to Find a MAC Address

To display your MAC address on a Windows NT/2000/2003/XP/Visa computer:

In the “ipconfig /all” results look for the adapter you want to find the MAC address of. The MAC address is the number located next to “Physical Address” in the list.

See “What Is a MAC Address?” in Webopedia’s Quick Reference section to learn how to find a MAC address, identifying unknown devices and more.
Also see a
breakdown of the seven OSI layers in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.
Learn more about ipconfig.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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