Mac address vs ip address

Mac address vs Ip address

Here in this article, we will discuss the major differences between mac address vs IP address.

But before that, we have to know what these addresses actually are.

What is mac address

Mac address actually stands for media access control.

It has also other names such as a physical address, hardware address, or BIA (Burnt in address).

Mac address is globally unique that means that two devices address cannot be same.

It is generally available in 48 bits and if we convert it into bytes then it will become 6 bytes.

This 48 bit is further divides into two main parts, 24 bits oui and 24 bits is vendor-specific.

This address is not representes in binary format instead of that it is actually present in hexadecimal format.

Normally the addresses are presents in 12 hexadecimal characters.

And we know that in one hexadecimal value there are 4 bits and if you have 12 bytes and convert that then it becomes 48 bits.

What is ip address

We know that computers on the internet are communicating with each other through underwater cables or wirelessly.

If you want to download any file from the internet then your device must have an IP address .

Because other computers can find my computer on the internet that address of the computer is called an IP address.

Generally ip stands for internet protocol address .

Ip addresses are mainly two types one is ipv4 and another is ipv6.

Internet protocol version 4 consists of 4 numbers separated with four dots, and each number can range from 0 to 255 in decimal numbers

But computers do not understand these decimal numbers so, therefore, these numbers are convertes to binary numbers.

Ipv4 is a 32-bit address. Where ipv6 is written as a group of 8 hexadecimal numbers which are separates with colons.

Ip address can be classify in static ip address and in dynamic ip addresses.

When we connect our device like smartphones computers to the internet service provider provides you an IP address from the range of available IP addresses, now your device has an IP address so you can connect your device to the internet and send and receive data to and from the computers in internet next time you connect to the internet your internet service provider gives you different IP address but from the same available range since IP address keeps on changing in every time you connect your device to the internet so such IP addresses are called dynamic IP addresses.

On the other hand, static IP addresses never change, they serve as permanent IP addresses.

Static IP addresses are use by DNS servers. The IP address allows billions of digital devices to be pinpoint.

Static IP addresses are consider less secure than dynamic IP addresses because they are easier to track.

What is the use of ip address and mac address:

mac address vs ip address

Ip address generally stands for internet protocol address.

In today’s world if you do not have any IP address then you cannot connect your computer or any device to the internet.

Ip address is devides into four parts which are further separates with dots.

As i mention earlier ip address has two versions ipv4 and ipv6.

Ipv4 is 32-bit address format, and the bit is the most smaller unit in computer memory.

And a combination of 4 bits is call a nibble, and a combination of 8 bits is call a byte.

It is not possible to provide the different IP addresses to different devices through the ipv4 versions that’s why the ipv6 version is very useful.

It is also known as IP new version it is the 128-bit format.

Mac address actually stands for media access control address.

We know that our local IP and our internet IP both are different things and different terms.

Through the internet, we got an IP which is our identification on the internet.

Like this, on the internet, every device got separate numbers which are their identification.

But it is not mandatory that in one IP we only can connect one device. Such as into the modem we connect our computers as well as laptop and mobile devices also.

Upto modem one ip has come ,and our modem gives a local ip .

Mac address vs ip address:


Mac address specifically stands for media access control address and on the other hand, IP address actually stands for internet protocol address.


If we discuss both the address then we will notice that IP address is a kind of logical address and mac address is a kind of physical address.


Basically, the IP address is provides by our isp provider or user, or another administrator, or otherwise, it is also assign by the user also.

But in the case of mac address it not possible that the user is the provider, it is at the time hardware is manufactured.


In the case of IP, there are two versions and their lengths are not similar, ipv4 is a 32-bit address format that is separate by dots and ipv6 128 bits hexadecimal notation.

Mac is a 46-bit address format that is divide into two separate parts and is in a hexadecimal format which is separates by hyphens or by semicolons.


Ip addresses are mainly separated into five classes a,b,c,d,e, and each range is between 256 characters.

On the other hand, mac addresses are not divides into any particular classes.


Ip address is a kind of software address .

On the other hand mac address is a kind of hardware address.

Osi model:

Ip address works on the network layer of the OSI model .

And on the other hand mac address works on the data-ink layer on the OSI model.

Used for:

Ip address is the numeric representation of a device that uses TCP/IP and mac addresses the numeric representation of a device that uses ethernet.


In the case of IP address, subnetting is use but subnetting is not use in the case of the mac address.

Example of ip address and mac address:


Although the ipv6 version is available on the market still most people engage with the ipv4 version. is a very good example of an IP address, technically these dots are known as periods which are use to separate these ids.

This is also known as dotted decimal notation. It is divides in five classes –,class b,,class c ,class d,class e.

The range of class a is from 1-126, class a here is one network id and three hosts, class b range are 128-191, here are two network ids and two hosts, class c range are from 192-223, here are three network ids and one single host ids, class d range are from 224-239, and class e is from 240-255.

Class d is use in multicasting and class e is reserve for future uses.

People also ask which IP belongs to which class well it is a very easy method - if we want to discover which class this IP is belongs to then follow the ranges.

We know that class b is referring from 128 -191 and 130 is between this number so we can call this number as class b IP address.


This is also known as the physical address that is use to identify a hardware interface.

This is a 48-bit hexadecimal address, the format of a mac address is MM:MM:MM:SS:SS: SS, the first three characters are decided by the manufacture, and the others are decided by the nic card number, each computing device has a unique mac address.

If we discuss the format of mac address then we have to know about the six-byte hardware address.

The six-byte hardware address on the network interface card is Mac’s source address for the device.

Source mac address is always unicast address because more than one device cannot originate the transmission on the other hand the destination mac address can be unicast multiple multicast or broadcast .B2-13-42-A1-23-34 is a very good example of the mac address.

Here are two octets, the first three octets define the originally unique identifier and the last three octets define the network interface controller.

Relationship between ip address and mac address:

mac address vs ip address

We already mention the differences between Mac address vs IP address now in this section, we will discuss that why should we use both the address mac address as well as IP address and these addresses are use in the TCP/IP world.

What happens if we use mac or physical address alone, well mac address is a globally unique id for your device.

It is useful and efficient for communication in small networks.

Ip address indicates where you are but it does not indicate who you are.

As more computers join the internet communication would become impossible.

Mac address is burnt with hardware nic card, if something wrong happens to the hardware nic all the existing connection would be lost.

On the other hand, IP address is flexible and they can group and organize different networks. The IP address is very much like your mailing address.

In summary, it can be said that the mac address tells you who you are, which will never change on the other hand IP address tells you where you are which can be changed.

And they both make sure that the message is deliver to the right persons or the right network.


In this article, we discussed the mac address vs IP address, their definition, similarities, etc.

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