IP Address vs MAC Address, What is the Difference?

ip address vs mac address difference - streamtech fiber internet
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All devices in a computer network can connect and interact with one another. Of course, this is through the aid of a fast internet connection, like fiber internet. However, the topic of how one device would uniquely identify the other devices in the network constantly comes to our minds. The achievement of this can only be with the aid of the MAC and IP addresses.

Many people become confused while trying to understand the distinction between IP and MAC addresses. The main difference is that an IP address indicates your device’s location on the internet, whereas a MAC address identifies the device itself.

If you want to know more about these two concepts and the differences between the two, read on.

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What is an IP Address?

The Internet Protocol address or “IP address” is a type of address used to communicate over the internet. It is a logical address that aids in the device’s network connection. An administrator or an Internet service Provider (ISP) assigns the device’s IP address.

The IP Address also identifies the connection of the device on the network. In fact, the assignment can be manual or dynamic. There are also two categories of IP addresses. IPv4 and IPv6 are the two versions of the Internet Protocol. IPv4 is the most widely used IP address type. It’s a four-byte 32-bit address. 128.11.3.31 is a good illustration of this. A 128-bit address is used in the other version, IPv6.

What is a MAC Address?

The term “MAC address” refers to the Media Access Control Address. This address is provided to the computer by the manufacturer. As a result, each computer device has its own MAC Address. It aids in the identification of each gadget. The Physical Address is another name for it. The device’s Network Interface Controller (NIC) contains this address.

It’s a 48-bit hexadecimal number. The first three bytes represent the manufacturer, and the remaining three bytes describe the serial number of the NIC. 00:1B:63:84:45: E6 is one example of a MAC address. To deliver data to the target device in data transmission, the networking device switch validates the MAC address. In addition, the MAC address functions in the Data Link Layer, according to the Open System Interconnection (OSI) paradigm.

Importance of an IP address

The following are the benefits of using the Internet Protocol address:

  • Every device on a network has an IP address, which allows it to be located on that network.
  • It aids in the creation of a virtual link between a source and a destination.
  • An IP address is a numerical identification that is issued to each device connected to a computer network that employs the IP protocol for communication.
  • It also serves as a unique identifier for a certain computer on a network.
  • It allows you to select the addressing and packaging scheme’s technical format.

The Importance of a MAC address

The following are the benefits of utilizing a Media Access Control address:

  • It allows users to locate senders and recipients in the network in a secure manner.
  • The purpose of the MAC address is to prevent unauthorized network access.
  • Because the MAC address is unique, it’s use may be to trace the device.
  • The MAC address of a device is used by airport Wi-Fi networks to identify it.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

How do I find my IP address is?

In Windows, you may get the IP address by using the following steps:

Step 1: Select “start” from the drop-down menu. Select the Start Menu Icon from the Start Menu Icon drop-down menu.

Step 2: In a “search” box, type the command prompt. Select the search result by clicking on it.

Step 3: Type “ipconfig” into the command prompt and hit enter. A field named IPv4 Address can be found.

How do I find my device’s MAC address?

In Windows, there is also a mechanism to find the MAC address.

Step 1: Select “start” from the drop-down menu. Select the Start Menu Icon from the Start Menu Icon drop-down menu.

Step 2: In a “search” box, type the command prompt. Select the search result by clicking on it.

Step 3: Type “cmd” into the command prompt. Press enter after typing ipconfig/all.

Step 4: The command’s output is shown. Scroll down and search for the values next to “Physical Address” to get the physical address of the wired or wireless adapter. This is the MAC address of your computer.

difference of ip vs mac address - streamtech fiber internet
Photo by Lagos Techie on Unsplash

IP Address vs MAC Address

1. Number of Bytes

The IP Address is either an eight-byte or a six-byte one, while the MAC is a hexadecimal address of six bytes.

2. Use

The logical address of a computer is defined by the IP address. The fundamental purpose of a MAC address is also to guarantee that a device’s or computer’s physical address is known.

3. Assignment

The assignment of an IP address is by an administrator or an Internet Service Provider (ISP) , while the assignment of the MAC address of a device is by the manufacturer. Certainly, the MAC address cannot be changed; however, the IP address may be changed.

4. Protocol Used for Retrieval

The use of the  Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) protocol may be to obtain a device connected with an IP address. On one hand, the use of the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) may be to derive a device connected with a MAC address.

5. Operation

The IP address is also used largely at the network layer. Meanwhile, the data connection layer is where the MAC address is used the most.

6. Changes and Alterations

The IP address also changes throughout time and in response to changes in the environment. With the passage of time and changes in the environment, the MAC address, indeed, remains unchanged.

7. Third-Party Access

In front of any third party, the IP address remains hidden. The MAC address of a device can also be discovered by any third party.

8. Associated Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Layer

The Network Layer employs the IP address, while the Data Link Layer employs the MAC address.

Learn more internet concepts via Streamtech

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The internet is a haven of information that can help us understand the technology that we are using in our daily life now. Certainly, we can easily learn more about these things if we have the right tools such as an amazing fiber internet from the finest internet provider in the Philippines.

Make certain that you get the internet service you deserve. Indeed, through Streamtech, one of the country’s newest internet service providers, you can enjoy unlimited, high-speed internet to homes. These can be in bundle with cable TV services through Planet Cable.

Streamtech is committed to exceeding limits and making connectivity within your reach. Also visit our Official FB Page for more details.

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