Definition

MAC address (Media Access Control address)

In a local area network (LAN) or other network, the MAC (Media Access Control) address is your computer's unique hardware number. (On an Ethernet LAN, it's the same as your Ethernet address.) When you're connected to the Internet from your computer (or host as the Internet protocol thinks of it), a correspondence table relates your IP address to your computer's physical (MAC) address on the LAN.

The MAC address is used by the Media Access Control sublayer of the Data-Link Layer (DLC) of telecommunication protocols. There is a different MAC sublayer for each physical device type. The other sublayer level in the DLC layer is the Logical Link Control sublayer.

Contributor(s): Beth Kane
This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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