Difference Between MAC Address and IP Address

MAC Address Vs. IP Address: Explore the Difference Between MAC Address and IP Address

Both IP address and MAC address assist in defining a device uniquely on the internet. The manufacturer of the NAC Card provides a user with the MAC address while the ISP (Internet Service Provider) comes up with the IP address. There is a major difference between MAC Address and IP Address. The IP address of a device mainly helps in identifying the connection of a network (using which the device is connecting to the network). The MAC Address, on the other hand, ensures the computer device’s physical location. It helps us to identify a given device on the available network uniquely.

Before we get into further details about the difference between MAC Address and IP Address, let’s know a bit more about them.

What is a MAC Address?

The term MAC address is an acronym for Media Access Control Address. The MAC Address refers to a unique identifier that gets assigned to a Network Interface Card/ Controller (NIC). It has a 64-bit or 48-bit address linked and connected to the concerned network adapter. The MAC Address can exist in a hexadecimal format. This type of address exists in six separate sets of two characters/ digits – separated from each other using colons.

What is an IP Address?

The term IP Address is an acronym for Internet Protocol Address. An IP Address refers to the address that assists a user in identifying a network connection. It also goes by the Logical Address name provided to individual connections in the present network. An IP address lets us understand and control the way in which various devices communicate on the Internet. It also defines the specific behavior of various Internet routers.

Difference Between MAC Address and IP Address

Parameters

MAC Address

IP Address

Full-Form

The term MAC address is an acronym for Media Access Control Address.

The term IP Address is an acronym for Internet Protocol Address.

Number of Bytes

It is a hexadecimal address of six bytes.

This address is either an eight-byte or a six-byte one.

Protocol Used for Retrieval

You can retrieve a device attached to the MAC address using the ARP protocol.

You can retrieve a device attached to the IP address using the RARP protocol.

Provider

The Manufacturer of NIC Cards provides a device with its MAC address.

An ISO (Internet Service Provider) provides a device’s IP address.

Use

The primary use of a MAC address is to ensure the physical address of a given device/ computer.

The IP address, on the other hand, defines a computer’s logical address.

Operation

The MAC address primarily operates on the data link layer.

The IP address primarily operates on the network layer.

Alteration and Changes

This address does not alter or change with the passing time and change of environment.

This address gets modified depending on the change in environment and time.

Third-Party Access

Any third party can find out a device’s MAC address.

The IP address stays hidden from display in front of any third party.

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