Media Access Control (MAC) Address in a router
What is Media Access Control (MAC) address and what is its utility?
MAC address is the acronym for Media Access Control address. This is a unique identifier attached to almost all networking devices such as Routers, Ethernet cards and other devices. MAC addresses are usually given by the manufacturer of the hardware devices. This address usually encodes the registered identification number given by the manufacturer and other details related to the specific devices. This name follows the rules and regulation of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards. MAC addresses are 12-digit hexadecimal numbers (48 bits in length). The first half of a MAC address contains the ID number of the hardware manufacturer. The second half of a MAC address represents the serial number that is assigned to the adapter by the manufacturer.
Following are the ways to find the MAC address in a router:
- Finding MAC addresses
- Clone MAC address
- Common Issues with MAC addresses
Finding MAC Addresses
The 'winipcfg' utility is used for finding MAC addresses with the Windows 95, 98 and ME operating systems. The 'ipconfig' utility is used with Windows NT and all new Windows operating systems. Various commands are used for the Linux and Unix operating systems for finding MAC addresses. Some versions of operating systems work with ‘ifconfig-a’ command which returns MAC addresses.
Clone MAC address
The method of changing the MAC address of a router is called Clone MAC address. The function of this feature varies with the router model and the manufacturer. This takes MAC address of one of the machine on your network and replaces the router's existing MAC address with it. Some routers support the option to manually enter the MAC address.
Some network attacks are based on MAC address spoofing and other hacking techniques, so changing the MAC ID would ensure the security of your routers. Before performing the cloning process with MAC, the users are recommended to backup your router settings. This is done because if any failure occurs, this backup could be used to return the configurations. Users may also have to ensure proper and high signal Internet connection, that offer relevant and correct information like IP address, username, password, etc.
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