How to Find Your Device Mac Address

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We live in what experts describe as an IP (Internet Protocol) based society. This means everything is connected, not just your smartphone, camera, smart watch and traditional computing devices. Potentially, anything and everything , from your dog’s collar to your refrigerator is now an Internet connected device which you can monitor and manage, all from your web browser.

Part of the magic behind IoT (Internet of things) is unique identifiers which enable everything on the planet to communicate. There is a network address which is assigned to every computing network device. Unlike an IP address, it’s assigned at manufacturing and never changes. This is called a MAC address.

What’s a MAC Address and How to Find It?

 

MAC stands for Media Access Control. This unique identification is the physical address for your Ethernet or Wireless adapter burnt into the actual hardware at the factory. The address format is the same for all network adapters — a set of hexadecimal digits.

There are multiple ways to find your MAC address depending on the type of device.

Find your Network MAC address on a Windows PC

 

On a Windows PC, Click Start > Type: CMD. At the command prompt, Type: ipconfig/all then hit Enter.

There might be several adapters displayed, especially if you use virtualization software. Scroll down to the heading: Ethernet adapter. The entry Physical Address entrywill display your MAC address.

An easier way to find it is from Settings. Open the Network and Internet category, select Ethernet, click the connection name, then scroll down to view your Physical address (MAC).

Find your Network MAC address on a Linux System

 

Linux users can open Settings > Network > Wired, which will reveal the Hardware Address.

Find your Network MAC address on an Apple Mac

 

On a Mac, open System Preferences > Network, select your Ethernet adapter in the inspector pane, click Advanced > Hardware. There you will find your MAC Address.

A faster way is by clicking the Apple menu > About this Mac > System Report, expand Hardware tab then select Ethernet Cards > Mdns offload capable.

Find your Network MAC address on an Apple iOS Device

 

iOS users can look in Settings > General > About, scroll down to view the physical address.

Find your Network MAC address on an Android Device

 

Android users can browse to Settings > About Phone > Status, swipe down to the bottom to view the Wi-Fi MAC Address.

For devices such as your router or switch, normally the physical address can be found on the back of the device label. Alternatively, you can log into the router or switch to view your MAC Address; if your router or switch shows up in Network Explorer, you can right click it then click Properties.

Why would you even want to know this information? IP address leases expire over time; as devices connect and disconnect from your network, trying to block or whitelist them based on IP is not realistic. Instead, you could secure your home network using the MAC address.


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