What is MAC address and How to Find it

So, you are trying to connect to a new WiFi, but even though you have the correct password,  it’s not working. And when you bring this issue to the network admin, he smiled and simply ask for your device’s MAC address.

So what is a MAC address and how can you find it?

Well, in very simple terms, every electronic device which connects to a network has a unique identifier called MAC address. This MAC address (short for Media Access list) look something like — 60:00:61:e6:56:re.

Unlike IP address, which changes every time you connect to the internet. MAC address is hardwired in the network interface card. Which means it’s unique and every device has a different MAC address.

MAC address is only reverent till the router level. Once the packet leaves the router, it does not carry the machine’s MAC address, instead, it carries your router’s MAC address. This means two things — one, usually a website can not determine your MAC address; and second, you can change your MAC address to anything you want, just make sure, no two device on the same network has the same MAC address.

Now, if you like to tinker with your network or if you want to join one which has MAC filtering enabled, then you’ll need to find your MAC address. And in this article we’ll see, the best way to do it on every popular platform. So let’s get started.

Related: 10 Steps to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network From Hackers

Find MAC Address

Windows

You can find the MAC address with both GUI and command line.

To do this with GUI, Open the Network and Sharing Center > Local Area Connection > Details > Physical Address.

Find-MAC-address-of-Windows

If you prefer Command line, then start by pressing the windows key on the keyboard, to bring the start menu. Now, type in cmd and hit enter. A black window will pop open, in it type the following command and hit enter.

ipconfig /all

Scroll down and look for the value next to the physical address. This is your computer’s MAC address.

Find-MAC-address-of-Windows-command-line

ProTip:

Instead of typing ifconfig /all, type in getmac. This command will hide all the irrelevant info and only give you the MAC address.

MAC

Again on MAC, you have two option — i.e. GUI or terminal.

To do this with the graphical interface. Open spotlight (spacebar + cmd) type in system preference and hit enter. Next go to Network > WiFi > Advance > Hardware. And there you’ll find your mac address.

Or use the terminal to find your MAC address. This method is more popular. Open spotlight and type in terminal and hit enter. In the terminal window, type the following command and hit enter.

ifconfig

Find-MAC-address-in-MAC-

Sometimes you may see two different MAC address on the single computer. This means that the system has two NIC (network interface card) — one for ethernet and one for WiFi. So in that case, what will be your MAC address?

Well, it depends on what you are trying to do. For instance, if you need your MAC address to connect to WiFi then obviously look for the WiFi card’s MAC address and vice versa. But, if you are not sure, always use WiFi MAC address.

Linux

Since MAC is based on Linux ecosystem, steps are also similar.

Open terminal and type ifconfig and then look for the value next HWaddr.

Android

It’s very simple to find MAC address on Android. Go to settings > scroll down to About phone > Status > WiFi MAC address.

Find-MAC-address-of-Android

iOS

Go to Settings > General > About > WiFi Address.

Pro Tip: Tap and hold the MAC address values for few seconds and it’ll copy it down to the clipboard. Also, works with Android.

Find-WiFi-MAC-address-in-iOS

Router

To find MAC address of your router or any other device that is connected to your network (like a chromecast), first, log in to your router, and look for DHCP client list option. There you’ll find the list of all the connected devices and their MAC address

But there is also an easy way to do it, by using a Wi-Fi network scanner. For instance, Fingbox – a network scanner app, will give the list of all the devices connected to your WiFi along with their MAC address.

Find-MAC-address-of-other-device-on-the-network

 

About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-