What is the Difference between an IP Address & MAC Address?

The MAC and IP address are not the same things. The MAC address is the unique modifier of the physical device that will or wants to become part of a network. However, the IP address is what connects the device to the internet. IP is internet protocol, which connects the device and internet service provider together to the networks that bring the internet information to the computer. Knowing and understanding how to identify a mac address is important for those that need to deal with the hardware and the issues that may arise when the device fails to connect.

IP Address & MAC Address

Definition of MAC Address/IP Address

It is important to understand what’s a MAC address and the specific difference between a MAC address and an IP address. For those seeking to make changes or understand this process, the MAC address is the physical address of a device. While the physical address vs the MAC address has differences, the real device used has a MAC address and the internet service provider will use the physical address of the home to apply these settings. The ISP will identify the MAC address on the network and use it to determine certain settings and how to hook the user up to the internet. Generally, if user wants to know what is a MAC address is used for, and the ISP will explain the that MAC address on the router or modem is important to connect this person to the internet at home or in a business. What is a MAC address with other devices? This depends on the electronic and the home network.

The Home Network

MAC address used for in the home requires a better understanding of the network settings, router and modem settings and how to make changes. Admin that manages a home network knows what is MAC ID and how to use it. He or she will use this hardware address to determine bandwidth if it can access the internet and other specific settings based on the user. The MAC and IP will also work together to provide internet access and speeds. This home network manager can determine the MAC address needs and what is it in relation to other devices.

MAC Address

The Internet and the Home Network

For the home network manager, he or she will also know how the MAC address vs the IP address will help determine connection and speeds. Using each computer’s MAC address, he or she can place these details in the router or let the router and modem automatically determine the addresses for configuration. The individual can also change speeds, alter the settings to only permit certain functions and stop someone from downloading large files at certain times. Refreshing these settings can also reload for any changes. Based on the needs of the home network,  the manager can alter these settings.

How Does a MAC Address Work?

A MAC address is something that a network uses to identify what device should connect to the internet or the home network in other ways. MAC addresses exist for all hardware devices connected to include the printer or scanner. The format is MM:MM:MM:SS:SS:SS. The serial number is something from the network card inside the device. The only time a MAC address changes is when the user needs to replace the network card or NIC. Each of these addresses is unique and connects to both serial number and manufacturer. The MAC address connects to the data layer with TCP/IP connections. The Address Resolution Protocol or ARP helps to receive the MAC address in the electronic world without the need to input the data manually.

Definition of IP Address

The IP address is something that connects the network to the internet through the Internet Protocol or IP. The differences is that one is a device adress while the other is a protocol. The MAC vs IP address also explains the differences between the address on the device, the physical location and the connection to the internet with the ISP. There is also a difference between private and public IP address. One is connected to the network outside while the other is inside the home network. The home network uses private IP addresses to assign different devices to the overall IP. This helps to understand the MAC address to IP differences.

IP Address

Useful MAC

The physical address of the home is what the ISP uses to connect services. The useful MAC addresses inside this home include all electronics that will remain on the network. The person administering network services will determine the IP address for the MAC address. This IP to the MAC address is something that also goes into the router. The IP address assigned on the MAC address will let the admin change settings and reassign internal or private IP addresses.  To get a local IP address on the MAC address, the admin will usually use the router to accomplish this task. Some admins will even learn how to find an IP address from the MAC address.

IP Address vs MAC Address

The difference between the MAC address and the IP address explain the ways to use a device versus the connection to the internet. The difference between MAC and IP addresses also help the admin carry out setting changes. The difference between an IP address and a port address designate where the connection is and how to adjust settings. Port settings are usually elsewhere. The difference between an IP address and a physical address explain who is handling the service and how.


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