What is my IP Address / MAC Address?

Every computer on a network has a unique identifier. Just as you would address a letter to send in the mail, computers use the unique identifier to send data to specific computers on a network. Most networks today, including all computers on the Internet, use the TCP/IP protocol as the standard for how to communicate on the network. In the TCP/IP protocol, the unique identifier for a computer is called its IP address.

IP Address

There are several ways of determining your computer's IP address:

  • Visit online tool sites like whatismyipaddress.com
  • Upon reboot of your machine, the network diagnostic/connection settings are usually shown as the operating system loads

MAC Address

In computer networking, a Media Access Control address, better known as MAC address, is a unique identifier assigned to a network adapter or network interface card (NIC) by the manufacturer for identification. The MAC address can also be called the Ethernet Hardware Address (EHA), hardware address, adapter address or physical address. Your computer may have more than one MAC address. Do you have wireless and an ethernet port? Then you have at least two MAC addresses. Your smart phone probably also has a MAC address -- my iPhone has two; one for wireless and one for bluetooth.

MAC addresses are typically 6 groups of two hexadecimal digits (0-9,A,B,C,D,E,F), separated either by colons (:) or hyphens (-). The Wi-Fi Mac address on my iPhone, for example is: 00:1C:B3:09:85:15. The first three numbers, 00:1C:B3, are an Apple manufacturing code; only Apple products will have MAC address starting with those digits. (Settings then General then About then Wi-Fi Address)

Why do you care about MAC addresses? Generally speaking, you don't. But if you are having trouble with connecting to a network or if your computer has been hacked, then the ACCC's security, networking, operations, or repair folks might need you to tell them what it is to help them troubleshoot your problem. So here is how to tell.

Note that you must have TCP/IP installed to be able to query your MAC address.

Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7

  1. Click Start then Run (in Windows 7, Start and type in the Search Programs and Files box.)
  2. Enter: cmd
  3. Enter: ipconfig /all
    If the output scrolls off your screen, and it will on Vista and Windows 7, use: ipconfig /all | more
  4. The Physical Address is your MAC address; it will look like 00-15-E9-2B-99-3C. You will have a physical address for each network connection that you have.
    Windows XP Mac Address
    The is the ipconfig output on Windows XP. My XP computer has two network connections -- an ethernet connection, labeled Local Area Connection, and a wireless connection, labeled Wireless Network Connection (the wireless connection isn't currently set up).

    The actual network adaptors present in your computer are all that XP lists. Vista and 7, on the other hand, lists many additional possible network connections, even if they aren't being used. But the Wireless and Local Area Connection sections are the same.

Windows 95/98/ME

  1. Click Start then Run
  2. Type: winipcfg and click OK.
  3. Select the network adapter you are interested in,
  4. The box marked Adapter Address is your MAC address; it will look like 00-15-E9-2B-99-3C.

Mac OS X Up to Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4

  1. Click on the Apple menu then System Preferences then Network
  2. MAC address for wired ethernet connections:
    1. From the Show: menu, select Built-in Ethernet.
    2. On the Ethernet tab (TCP/IP tab for Mac OS X 10.2 and earlier), the Ethernet ID is your MAC address.
  3. MAC address for wireless connections:
    1. From the Show: menu, select AirPort.
    2. On the AirPort tab, the AirPort ID is your MAC address. The illustration below is the AirPort tab on Mac OS X Tiger.
      Mac OS X Tiger MAC Address

Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard, 10.5 and 10.6

  1. Click on the Apple menu then System Preferences then Network
  2. MAC address for wired ethernet connections:
    1. Select Ethernet from the list on the left.
    2. Click the Advanced button.
    3. On the Ethernet tab, the Ethernet ID is your MAC address.
  3. MAC address for wireless connections:
    1. Select AirPort from the list on the left.
    2. Click the Advanced button.
    3. On the AirPort tab, the AirPort ID is your MAC address.
      Mac OS X leopard MAC address

Macintosh Classic with Open Transport

  1. Click on the Apple Menu then Control Panels then TCP/IP Control Panel
  2. From the Connect via: menu, select Ethernet.
  3. Click the Info button.
  4. The Hardware address is your MAC address.

Macintosh Classic with MacTCP

If you have Open Transport, use it. If not, while you are connected to an ethernet network (the Internet, for example), do the following:

  1. Click on the System Folder then Control Panel then MacTCP Control Panel
  2. Without the Shift or Caps Lock keys depressed, and while holding down the Option key, click the Ethernet built-in icon.
  3. The Hardware address is your MAC address.

Linux

  1. Become root, using su.
  2. Enter: ifconfig -a
    # ifconfig -a
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:09:3D:12:33:33  
              inet addr:10.248.155.17  Bcast:10.248.255.255  Mask:255.255.0.0
              inet6 addr: fe50::234:3dff:fe12:7d73/64 Scope:Link
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:3489041718 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:3259212142 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
              RX bytes:2732221481 (2.5 GiB)  TX bytes:4065716672 (3.7 GiB)
              Interrupt:185 
    
  3. The ethernet devices are called eth0, eth1, and so on The MAC address is in the first line of the output, labeled HWaddr, it is 00:09:3D:12:33:33.

Solaris / Sun OS

  1. Become root, using su.
  2. Enter: ifconfig -a
    # ifconfig -a 
    ce0: flags=1000843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST,IPv4> mtu
         1500 index 2 inet 128.248.xx.xx netmask ffffff00 broadcast 128.248.xx.255
         ether 0:3:ba:21:33:33 
  3. The ethernet device is often called leo or ie0, but in this case, it is ce0. The MAC address is labeled ether, it is 00:03:ba:21:33:33 -- note that Solaris and SunOS takes of leading 0's from MAC addresses.

FreeBSD / NetBSD

  1. Become root, using su.
  2. Enter: ifconfig
    The relevant information is:
    en0: flags=8863<UP,BROADCAST,SMART,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
      ether 00:1f:f3:5b:2b:1f
      media: autoselect status: inactive
      supported media: autoselect 10baseT/UTP <half-duplex> 10baseT/UTP <full-duplex> 
    10baseT/UTP <full-duplex,hw-loopback> 10baseT/UTP <full-duplex,flow-control> 
    100baseTX <half-duplex> 100baseTX <full-duplex> 100baseTX <full-duplex,hw-loopback> 
    100baseTX <full-duplex,flow-control> 1000baseT <full-duplex> 1000baseT <full-duplex,hw-loopback> 
    1000baseT <full-duplex,flow-control> 
    none 
    en1: flags=8863<UP,BROADCAST,SMART,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
      inet6 fe80::21f:5bff:fec7:ee2f%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5
      inet 192.168.1.108 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 192.168.1.255
      ether 00:1f:5b:c7:ee:2f
      media: autoselect status: active
      supported media: autoselect
    
  3. The ethernet port in this example is en0; it is not being used and its MAC address is ether 00:1f:f3:5b:2b:1f. The wireless is en1; it is being used and its MAC address is ether 00:1f:5b:c7:ee:2f.

OpenBSD

  1. Become root, using su.
  2. Enter: netstat -in
    The relevant information is:
    Name   Mtu   Network         Address            Ipkts     Ierrs  Opkts     Oerrs Coll
    ef0    1500  131.193.195     something.zone.uic.72967739  0      49389949  0     0
                                 ALL-SYSTEMS.MCAST.
                                 08:00:69:aa:4a:55
    lo0    32992 loopback        localhost        2320502     0      2320502   0     0
                                 ALL-SYSTEMS.MCAST.
    
  3. The name of the adaptor in this case is ef0, its MAC address is called Address, and it is 08:00:69:aa:4a:55.

HP-UX

Newer versions of HP-UX use: nwmgr --get

For example:

# nwmgr --get 
Name/           Interface Station          Sub-   Interface      Related 
ClassInstance   State     Address        system   Type           Interface 
==============  ========= ============== ======== ============== ========= 
lan0            UP        0x00306EF4E07C igelan   1000Base-T 
lan1            UP        0x000F202B92D4 igelan   1000Base-T 
lan2            UP        0x0010837BDE00 btlan    100Base-TX

The Station Address is the MAC address, for example for lan0, it is 00:30:6E:F4:E0:7C.

In older versions of HP-UX, you might have to use lanscan.

IRIX

  1. Become root, using su.
  2. Enter: netstat -ia
  3. The relevant information is:
    	Name  Mtu  Network  Address           Ipkts    Ierrs Opkts   Oerrs Colls
    	fxp0  150  <link>   00:08:c7:3c:9b:02 4112773  0     224501  0     0      
        
  4. The name of the adaptor in this case is fxp0, its MAC address is called Address, and it is 00:08:c7:3c:9b:02.

Several people tried this command for me. Most got the MAC address, but some didn't. I have no idea why. Here is another command that even a non-root user can try: /etc/nvram eaddr

AIX

The ifconfig -a command doesn't return the MAC address under AIX, so you must use netstat -ia.

  1. Become root, using su.
  2. Enter: netstat -ia
    The relevant information is:
    Name  Mtu   Network     Address              Ipkts Ierrs    Opkts Oerrs  Coll
    en0   1500  link#2      0.2.55.3a.0.97           0     0       14     0     0
                            01:bb:5e:00:cc:01
    
  3. The name of the adaptor in this case is en0, its MAC address is called Address, and it is 01:bb:5e:00:cc:01

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Last updated: 

December 03, 2012

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