MAC Definition & Meaning

In technology terms, MAC or Mac can refer to one of three common definitions:

(1) An acronym for Media Access Control, MAC is a network sublayer that controls transmission hardware. The MAC sublayer works with the Logical Link Control (LLC) sublayer to create the Data Link Layer (also called Layer 2) of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. This layer is responsible for moving data packets to and from one Network Interface Card (NIC) to another across a shared channel. In this context, MAC may also refer to the frame structure that houses MAC addresses, which are used to identify each node of a network.

(2) Mac refers to the brand name and registered trademark for a line of laptop and desktop computers from Apple, Inc. The Mac was initially launched in 1984 as the Macintosh, the first personal computer to have a graphical user interface (GUI), 3.5″ floppy disk drive, and consistent operating system. Since then, the family of Mac computers has been expanded to include the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro.

(3) MAC is also an acronym for Mandatory Access Control, a type of access control that gives an administrator complete authority over usage and access policies for other users. MAC is the opposite of Discretionary Access Control (DAC), which gives complete control to the individual user.

 

 

 

 

Avatar
Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

Top Articles

The Complete List of Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

By Vangie Beal Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. Since 2011, Hotmail, in terms...

DMVPN Definition & Meaning

DMVPN is a type of virtual private network designed by Cisco that uses...

What Is Risk Management?

Risk management is the process of identifying, analyzing, and responding to risk factors...

CJIS Definition & Meaning

The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division of the FBI provides relevant data...