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Difference between MAC Address and IP Address

January 2, 2023

The key difference between MAC address and IP address is, MAC and IP addresses play an important role in networking because they uniquely identify devices and connections. By properly configuring these addresses, network administrators can control traffic and ensure that data is delivered to the correct destination.

image showing the MAC vs IP address

The MAC address is a unique identifier assigned to each computer on a network. It is used to ensure that the physical address of the computer can be used to communicate with other devices on the network.

IP addresses are used to identify devices that are connected to a network.

IP Address

An IP address is a unique serial number that is assigned to each device on the internet. It is a physical address that is used by computers, phones, and other devices to communicate with one another. Each device uses an IP address when it connects to a network (such as the Internet).

IP addresses are also commonly referred to as domain name resolution numbers (DNS). When you type www.google.com into your browser, your computer contacts the DNS server to look up the IP address of Google.

MAC Address

MAC address is a unique 48-bit numeric identifier assigned by the IEEE for each local interface on a computer. It is used by the networking layer to identify the device on the network. The MAC address is the code that is used to identify a particular computer or device on a network.

A MAC address is a unique identifier used to identify a network adapter. It consists of a series of hexadecimal numbers, which are separated by colons.

MAC Address vs IP Address

The main differences MAC address vs IP address is given below:

MAC AddressIP Address
The word MAC is an acronym for Media Access Control.The word IP acronym for Internet Protocol.
MAC address is a hexadecimal address of six bytes.   IP address is either an eight-byte or a six-byte one.
MAC addresses are primarily used on the data link layer.MAC addresses are primarily used on the network layer.
The MAC address is assigned by the manufacturer of the NIC card and is stored in the card’s permanent memory.The IP address is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.