What is an IP Address? Mac Address?

what is IP address

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In the previous article, we have seen OSI and TCP/IP models. Now, we will see what is an IP address and what is a mac address.

First of all we will see what is a Mac Address.

What Is A Mac Address

Media Access Control or simply MAC address is the physical address of a device. This means that using this address the communication happens over the ethernet network.

As I said physical address, it is stored in a network card firmware. It is unique for every device.

You can view the mac address of your PC by following the steps below.

If you are on Windows machine, open command prompt (cmd), type ipconfig/all and you will see a section named physical address under ethernet adapter settings.

For linux, you can see it by typing ifconfig in terminal. There will be a field as HWaddress.

What is an IP Address

IP address is the logical address of the device. This means that it is the address which is used to identify the device over the network. For the TCP/IP communication to be successful, each device needs to have IP address.

The ISP (Internet Service Provider) assigns the IP address. IP address have two versions. IPv4 and IPv6.

The former is used worldwide while the latter is still rolling out across the globe. IPv4 is 32 bit address and IPv6 is 128 bit.

When we will see IPv6 in details, we will see why it was needed even as we had IPv4.

You can view your IP address by following the steps mentioned below.

On Windows machine, go to command prompt (cmd), type ipconfig and you will find both IPv4 as well as IPv6 addresses.

On linux, in terminal, type ifconfig and you will find IPv4 address. By typing ifconfig -a, you will get IPv6 address.

As an IP address is not a physical address, it can be configured manually or automatically using a DHCP server.

In next articles we are going to cover Network topologies, some network protocols, IP versions, IPv4 Classes, Private and Public addresses, network and host id, subnetting.

Then we will move towards routing basics and LAN, WAN, after that IPv6 and its routing protocols and finally Network Security.

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