Difference between IP address and MAC address?

IP address v/s MAC address

Each network in the device has two types of addresses one is IP address another one is MAC address. The MAC address is the number assigned to the NIC card by the manufacturer. An IP address is a number assigned to connections in the network. So, let us study some of the basic differences between the IP address and the MAC address.

IP address:

The IP address is a device that allows devices to transport packets from the network to network via routers. An IP address cannot be used to transmit the data within a network (LAN).

IP address

IP addresses are provided by network administrators or by Internet service providers (ISPs). These IPs are primarily used in routing operations because they specifically identify network connections. There are two variants of the IP address, IPV4, and IPV6. IPV4 is the 32-bit address whereas IPV6 is the 128-bit address. The IP address of the device changes each time. Your IP address can change each time you connect to the network since it is dynamically assigned to your device when you participate in the network.

MAC address:

MAC address

MAC address acts like a unique physical address assigned and burned into a device interfaced network interface card (NIC). NICs acts as the interface hardware used by computers to become part of a network. A MAC address allows a network to transmit the data within the network. Therefore, the basic function of MAC is to provide addressing and channel access mechanisms. So, every node available on the network can communicate with each other with nodes available on the same network or another.

Hence, in MAC address primary responsibility is physical addressing. But, you can’t find two devices which have the same MAC address as it is a unique code we cannot change as it is constant. The MAC address of each computer in a network is unique. If you want to change or replace the NIC card of your computer, your MAC address can also be modified.

MAC address is a 48-bit hexadecimal address. Therefore, the format of the MAC address can represent as MM:MM:MM:SS:SS: SS or MM-MM-MM-SS-SS-SS.

Key differences between the IP address and MAC address:

Diference between IP and MAC address

An IP address stands for Internet Protocol address and MAC address stands for Media Access Control address. Another name for IP address is logical address, network or internet address, However, another name for MAC address is physical, hardware or ethernet address.

The ARP protocol takes the MAC address while the RARP protocol takes the IP address. The MAC address uniquely identifies the device, while the IP address makes it easy to identify the connection of a device over the Internet.

The MAC addresses are provided by the interface hardware manufacturer. Whereas, IP addresses are provided by network administrators or by Internet service providers (ISPs). MAC address work in the data link layer whereas, IP address work in the network layer.

MAC addressIP address
1. MAC stands for Media Access Control
1. IP stands for Internet Protocol Address.
2. MAC is A 48-bits(6 bytes
2. IPV4 is 32-bit(4 bytes) address whereas,
IPV6 is 128-bits(16 bytes) address
3. It is a Hardware address3. It is a Software address
4. MAC address is a physical address4. An IP address is a Logical address
5. Format of the MAC address is
E4:9G:7I:D5:R7: O8
5. Format of IP address is
6. MAC address works on OSI layer -2
i.e; data link layer
6. An IP address works on OSI layer-3
i.e; Network layer
7. Assigned by the device manufacturer7. Assigned by the Internet Service
provider (ISP) or administrator
8. Acts like a social security number8. Acts like a postal mailing address

The IP address and MAC address are two frequently used addresses in networking. Therefore, these two addresses are required equally when a device wants to communicate with another device in a network.

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