ontrol address) The unique 48-bit serial number in the network circuitry of Ethernet and Wi-Fi devices that identifies that machine from every other globally. Also used in earlier Token Ring networks, the ID is assigned to vendors by the IEEE and "burned into" most network adapters (NICs) at the time of manufacture. However, some NICs are programmable, and the possibility of having the same MAC address is theoretically therefore not impossible. See MAC layer
and binary values
Logical IP and Physical Ethernet
Wireless MAC Addresses
Each machine in an IP network has an IP address assigned temporarily by software (see DHCP
) or permanently by the network administrator. The physical address is assigned by the manufacturer of the hardware. See IP address
Smartphones have unique MAC addresses for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as in this iPhone example. Like Ethernet, Wi-Fi also requires an IP address, which can be viewed in Settings. Bluetooth does not use IP addresses.