This article will help you figure out how to find out the MAC address of a computer or any other network device running various operating systems (Windows, Linux, Android, and others).
What is a MAC address and why is it needed
A MAC address is a unique identifier for a network card (interface) or wireless adapter. MAC is also called the physical address (Hardware Address) of a computer, laptop, router, smartphone, in other words, any device that works, in particular, in Ethernet networks. It is the Ethernet standard that provides for the use of a unique value of the MAC address, consisting of six bytes of information, for each network device.
Interesting fact. The uniqueness of physical addresses is achieved through the appeal of network card manufacturers to a regulatory body called the IEEE Registration Authority, which, in turn, provides them with a pool of addresses (over 16 million values) for assignment to new devices.
As the range is used, the manufacturer can contact IEEE again, so to speak, for an “additive”.
In broadcast networks (for example, such as Ethernet), the physical address makes it possible to determine each node (computer) of the network and deliver data exclusively to it. It is MAC addresses that form a certain basis of networks at the data link layer. a component of the OSI model.
The process of determining the physical address for different types of devices and operating systems is slightly different, but still remains a fairly simple task.
The easiest way to find out the MAC address of a computer is to find the relevant information on the box of your laptop / router / smartphone (underline it!) And so on.
But, if this method is not for you, and the box was successfully thrown out, or the option of going to the mezzanine is not an option at all, please continue reading this article.
Determine the MAC address in Windows
In order to find out the MAC address of a computer in Windows, there are three main ways. None of them require the installation of additional programs or utilities, allowing you to get by only with the internal capabilities of the "windows".
Method 1. Find out the MAC address through the command line
The Windows command line is a must-have tool for every user in the category of "confident". The use of CMD (from the English command prompt) in determining the physical address of the device is universal and is suitable for any version of the popular Microsoft operating system (whether it is time-tested Windows 7 or Windows 8, brand new Windows 10 or the good old Windows XP).
In order to open the command line, you must use one of the many options. We will single out the two most convenient of them:
- Simultaneously press the Win key (the button with “windows” in the lower left corner of the keyboard) and the X (X) key, after which a context menu will appear, in which click on the “Command line” item
- Press the Win key and the R key at the same time, after which the Run window will appear. Enter the word cmd in the box and click OK.
After accessing the command line, you can again do two ways, or rather, use two commands:
- ipconfig / all. will show detailed information about all physical and virtual network devices used in the computer. In my case, the system detected two MAC addresses at once: the physical address of the standard Ethernet port (for the network cable) and the Wi-Fi adapter, which is used to access the network (I don’t like all these cables, you know!). Please note that, in addition to information about the MAC address, there are other network data for the Wi-Fi adapter (IP address, gateway address, DNS servers, and so on).
- getmac. Displays MAC address information for all physical devices on the computer. In my humble opinion, it is preferable because it does not complicate the life of the user with unnecessary information.
Using the additional attributes for the getmac command (/ v or / fo list) you get the information in expanded form.
Well, now you know how to find out the MAC address of a computer through the command line!
Method 2. We are looking for the MAC address in the system information
To gain access to information about the operating system, you must use the “Run” tool already known to you (Win R key combination), and then enter it in the field msinfo32 as shown in the figure and click “OK”.
In the left part of the window that appears, expand the “Components” item (by clicking on the plus sign or double-click), select “Network”, then “Adapter”, and in the right part of the window find the column “MAC Address”.
Voila! Simple, right?
Method 3. Determine the MAC address in network connections
To access the list of network connections, we will use the same Win R combination (command ncpa.cpl):
In the window that opens, find our active network connection and open its properties (right-click on the icon):
Then we hover over the name of the adapter used and get its MAC address in the form of pop-up text!
Perhaps the main disadvantage of this method is the inability to copy the resulting value for future use. Yes, and fast this way to find the MAC address of the computer can not be called.
How to find MAC address in Linux
In order to find out the MAC address of the network interface in the Linux operating system, use the ifconfig (or sudo ifconfig) command in your favorite terminal. The desired result will be next to the word HWaddr:
On Linux, the issue of determining the physical address can also be resolved using the ip (or sudo ip) command:
Physical Address on Apple Mac OS
Happy owners of Apple can use the terminal (ifconfig command) to find out the physical address of the computer:
Or, without delving into the intricacies of the system, go to "System Settings", then "Network", then go to the advanced settings and select the adapter of interest: Ethernet (wired) or AirPort (Wi-Fi). The MAC address of the wired interface will be located in the "Hardware" tab, wireless. in the AirPort ID column.
Where to see the MAC address of a smartphone or tablet
The method for determining the MAC address for devices based on the Android operating system is, if not the same for all devices, then it is certainly very similar. Below is an example of how to find out the MAC address on an android (using the Meizu M3 Note phone as an example).
To do this, go to “Settings”, then to the “WLAN” menu for managing wireless networks, go to “Advanced settings”, at the very bottom we see the desired MAC. Hurrah!
Apple Mobile Gadgets
To view the MAC address on iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch, go to “Settings”, then “Basic”, then “About this device”, in the field “Wi-Fi address” the physical address of the wireless module is indicated.
How to find out the MAC address of another computer
This section tells you how to find out the MAC address of a remote computer. An important condition: the device with the desired MAC address must be on the same subnet as your computer (it can be a home network or, for example, an enterprise network). You should also know its IP address. The following are two ways to find out the MAC address on the network: for Windows OS and Linux.
In order to find out the MAC address of a computer by IP, you can use ARP, the built-in Windows utility, which is a software implementation of the network protocol for determining the address (Address Resolution Protocol). In other words, ARP allows you to find out the physical address of a device by its known IP address.
In order to determine the MAC address of a remote computer (or any other network device), you must perform the following sequence of actions:
- We open "Command line" in one of the ways known to you.
- In the line we write the ping command [remote device address]. For example, I want to determine the MAC address of the router in my home network, then the command will look like: ping 192.168.1.1.
- After the “ping” is over, we will use the arp.a command. The result of the command will show the physical address of the remote router.
We repeat the sequence similar to the previous subsection, but already in the terminal of your Linux distribution. As a result, you will get something like:
How to identify the manufacturer by MAC address
The user can identify the manufacturer of his "network card" by the three highest (first from left) bytes. To do this, insert the MAC address of your device on a special service (for example, here) and press the Submit key.
Instead of an afterword
I hope you found this article interesting and, most importantly, accessible and useful. We are glad that now you know where and, of course, how to find out the MAC address of your or any other device on the network. Now you are one step closer to fully mastering your computer!