Difference between IP address and MAC address

There are many factors, technologies and protocols that are part of the network. All, in one way or another, make it possible to connect and surf the Internet. However, sometimes some terms can be confused. Many users do not really know the function of certain protocols. In this article we will explain what difference there are between IP address and MAC address. In both cases they serve to identify, but let's really see what each case is.


What is the IP address?

On the one hand we have the IP address. This is something that identifies all the devices we have connected to the network. Each device, each computer or mobile device connected to the network, has an IP address. In this way the router can send the information correctly.

The IP address can change frequently. It is not a fixed number that is always the same. It is the router or network device that assigns these addresses. If we restart the device, for example, we could get a different one. Of course, there are certain devices such as servers that need to have a fixed IP at all times.
What is the IP address

We have both public and private IP addresses. The first is the one assigned by our network operator. It is the address that identifies us on the Internet when we browse. A kind of "DNI" facing the network. The second, the private IP address, is the one we use to connect to the router. The router is the device that assigns an address to each of the devices that are connected to that network.

Keep in mind that each IP address is unique, as otherwise there would be conflicts. When we talk about private IP each of the devices connected to the router has to have a different one within the allowed list. If two devices have the same address, they cannot connect to the router at the same time.

What is the MAC address?

The MAC address also serves to identify. It is a series of digits that is present in each of the devices that can connect to the Internet. All those who have a network card, whether a computer, mobile or any other, will have a MAC address. This unique identifier is a number that each manufacturer assigns to the devices.

What is the MAC address


Of course, you have to keep in mind that a MAC address is present on each network card. That is, the same device can have several addresses. Let's say we have a computer with a network card built into the motherboard and we also have a USB wireless network card. Each of them is assigned a MAC address that identifies it.

The MAC address can contain both letters and numbers. They are separated into blocks of two and in total they are 12 characters. These characters refer to the manufacturer and model of that device. It is a 48-bit identifier. The 10 Countries With The Fastest Internet

More and more devices are connected to the Internet

It is a reality that we have more and more different devices connected to the Internet. This makes it essential in many cases to know the MAC address and control the IP address assigned to each. Otherwise we could have conflicts that make us unable to surf the Internet correctly.

Difference between IP address and MAC address

Especially if we talk about what is known as Internet of Things devices. We have more and more in our home. There is a wide variety of equipment connected to the network, such as televisions, light bulbs, video players ... Each one will have an assigned IP address, as well as a MAC address.

Through the MAC address we can create an address block from the router. Although it is not a really effective security measure, we can make a specific device unable to connect to the network or even create a list so that only those computers that interest us can access our connection.

In short, as we have seen there are difference between IP address and MAC address. They are two terms that can sometimes be confused but that are different. Both terms are present in all the devices that we have connected in our network.

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