The MAC and IP address are two different concepts, both are used to uniquely identify a device on the internet. In this article, we will discuss both of these addresses types and you will also see the key differences between them.
What is the MAC address?
MAC (Media Access Control) address is a unique identifier assigned to NIC or Network Interface Controller. It is primarily assigned by device manufacturers so also known with other names such as Physical address, burned-in address, or hardware address.
A MAC address is a 48 or 64-bit address that generally consists of six sets of two digits or characters separated by colons. These digits and characters usually represent the hexadecimal format.
For example –
00:00:5e:00:53:cf is an example of 48 bit MAC address.
Why MAC address is needed?
- MAC address is used for communication within a network segment
- It provides a secure and unique way to find a device in a network
- It can prevent unwanted network access
- An IP address is a logical address that changes dynamically so a MAC address is used to identify a device uniquely
What is the IP address?
An IP address is a unique identifier that is assigned to each device connected to a computer network and uses Internet protocol for communication. It is also known as a logical address and can change dynamically.
A computer uses this address to send data to a specific computer. IPv4 and IPv6 are two versions of IP addresses available nowadays. Every computer with an IP address has an IPv4 address and many of them are starting to use IPv6.
For Example –
192.0. 2.126 is an example of an IPv4 address.
2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334 is an example of IPv6 address.
Why need an IP address?
- To uniquely identify devices to a network
- MAC addresses handle physical connection while IP addresses handle the logical routable connection among computers or networks
- It can be used to establish a virtual connection between a destination and a source
- It could be static or dynamic which provides flexibility to connect a device to a network
MAC Vs IP address: The key differences
The following table shows the key differences between MAC and IP addresses –
|Platform Supported||Android Only|
|Android Version||Android 4.4.1 or Above|
Ok, so here you have understood MAC address, IP address and key differences between them.
Now if you have a query then write us in the comments below.