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Computers that uses a computer network or internet network need to be identified. For this reason, many network connection types, like Ethernet or WiFi, use unique addresses to identify the network card, a part of a computer, to access the network. These addresses are usually called the Media Access Control address or MAC address.
Each computer is given a MAC address by its computer maker. The way for giving MAC addresses to computers, created by Xerox, is used. MAC addresses have 48-bits (how many 1s or 0s it has in it). There are 248 (or 281,474,976,710,656) possible MAC addresses. MAC addresses identify many things, such as the type of device being used.
A MAC address is used by the network to send and receive data (computer information) to the right place almost like mail being sent and received from a home mail address. The MAC address is like door number or street number.
References[change | change source]
IEEE Std 802-2001 (PDF). The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE). 2002-02-07. p. 19. ISBN 0-7381-2941-0. Retrieved 2011-09-08.
The universal administration of LAN MAC addresses began with the Xerox Corporation administering Block Identifiers (Block IDs) for Ethernet addresses.