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MAC Full Form

Last updated date: 22nd Feb 2024
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What is the Full Form of MAC?

MAC full form in computer language is Media Access Control Address. This address is used in identifying each device that is connected to a network.  The MAC address is known as the hardware id number. In particular, each computer’s NIC (network interface card), including a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi card or Ethernet card, has an unchanged MAC address inserted by the manufacturer at the time of production. A few well-recognized NIC manufacturing company include Nortel, Dell, Nortel and Cisco. By substituting the NIC cards, one might alter the given default address of the system.

As far as the history of MAC address is concerned, the Xerox PARC researchers are assumed to have established the presence of MAC address. Also, several other concepts such as a physical address, hardware address and ethernet hardware address were used in place of MAC address. 

In this article, we have provided information on MAC full form in computer and the advantage of MAC. Students who are not familiar with this term can refer to this page to know what is the full form of MAC in networking.

General Features of MAC

Media Access Control Address (which is the Mac Address Full Form) is a hardware identification number that is used in identifying all the devices that are connected to a network. Some of the general key features of MAC are given below:

  • The MAC address (MAC) is embedded into the network interface cards (NIC) to your computers in the form of an ethernet card or wireless card. This is done at the time of manufacturing so it cannot be changed. Therefore, a MAC address is also known as a physical or a hardware address of a network device. 

  • NIC or Network Interface Cards is used to allow the users to connect to a network. It is also known as a computer circuit card as it can turn any information into an electrical signal which gets transmitted over the internet.

  • MAC Address is a 48-bit value and the format consist of 12 hexadecimal digits. The first six digits of the MAC address is referred to as Organizational Unique Identifier (OUI) which focuses on providing the manufacturer data. While the last six digits are used in identifying a network interface control system provided by the manufacturer.

  • The twelve-digit number is automatically recognised by the network and thus we do not have to remember the MAC address while identifying the control system.

  • The MAC prefixes are assigned to their licenced vendors by the IEEE Registration Authority Committee. 

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Types of MAC Addresses

Media Access Control Address (MAC) are of three types which are given below:

  1. Unicast MAC Address: This type of MAC address is used for specific Network Interface Cards (NIC) on the network. The address frame is only sent to a specific NIC assigned interface and is transmitted to a single destination device.

  2. Multicast MAC Address: It is used for enabling the source device to transmit data frames to multiple devices. The format of this particular MAC Address always starts with the prefix 01-00-5E.

  3. Broadcast MAC address: This address is used to represent all the devices within a network and is used as a destination MAC address by a source device for transmitting data to all devices connected.

Advantages of Media Access Control Address

  1. Media Access Control Address (MAC) provides a safe and secure way for detecting senders or receivers in the network.

  2. It also prevents your device from unwanted network access.

  3. MAC address consists of a unique 12 digit number and thus can be used in tracking your device. This number is different for all the devices.

  4. The MAC addresses are unique for all users on the same subnet of the network.

  5. Network problems related to IP addresses and other physical address can be diagnosed easily in a simple manner due to the effectiveness of MAC addresses.

FAQs on MAC Full Form

1. Are MAC Address and IP Address Similar?

Ans. No, MAC and IP Addresses are two different technical terminologies and are not similar. MAC address is provided by the chipmaker and is used to identify each of the devices that are connected to a network.  MAC full form in networking stands for media access control address. On the other hand, the full form of IP address is Internet Protocol Address. An IP address is provided by the internet service provider and is used o uniquely locate a computer that is connected with a network.

2. How Can a MAC Address Be Retrieved?

Ans. The full form of mac in computer is Media Access Control Address. This address can be retrieved by using the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). It is a communication protocol that is used to discover link-layer addresses which are associated with IP addresses.

3. What is the Format of MAC Address?

Ans. MAC Address is displayed as a 48-bit value that consists of 12 hexadecimal characters.  The MAC address format, thus, is formed by six octets. Each of these octets is separated using a hyphen or colon and consist of two characters. The common format which is used for displaying a MAC address is shown below.