Difference between IP address and MAC address

What is the IP address?


In a network that uses the Internet protocol to communicate between entities such as computers or printers on the network, the logical digital label or address assigned to each entity is called an Internet Protocol Address (IP). The IP address is used to identify and locate each entity separately in the network at the interface level and operates at the network layer of the OSI model.

IP addressing has two versions depending on the number of bits used to store the address, namely the Internet version 4 protocol (IPv4) which is developed with the 32 bit addressing mode and the most widely used, and the protocol Internet version 6 (Ipv6) developed with 128-bit addressing mode in the late 90s. Although the IP address is a binary number, it is generally stored in the host in a human-readable format. The Internet Assigned Number Authority globally manages the allocation of space and names for IP addresses.

difference ip address and mac
IP Address

There are two types of IP addresses; Static IP addresses are permanent and are manually assigned to the host by an administrator. Dynamic IP addresses are newly assigned to the host each time it is started by a computer interface, host software or by a server using DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) or a point-to-point protocol, which are the technologies used to assign a dynamic IP address.

Dynamic IP addresses are used so that administrators do not have to manually assign IP addresses to each host. But in some cases, such as when translating a domain name into an IP address by the domain name system (DNS), it is essential to have a static IP address, as it would be impossible to locate the location of a domain if it contains a domain name. frequently changing IP address.

What is the MAC address?

The MAC address or the media access control address is a physical or physical address associated with the network adapter of a host and is assigned by the manufacturer of the network card (network interface card). MAC addresses work at the data link layer of the OSI model and serve as unique identifications for each card in a lower level of a local area network (LAN).

Each MAC address is composed of 48 bits. The upper half contains the manufacturer's identification number of the adapter and the lower half contains a unique serial number assigned to each network adapter by the manufacturer. It is stored in the adapter hardware.

Unique organization identifier (3 bytes) Specific network interface controller (3 bytes)


What is the difference between IP address and MAC address?

Although the IP address and the MAC address are both intended to give hosts a unique identification in a network, depending on the state and function, these two characteristics have several differences. When the working address layer is considered, while the MAC address works in the data link layer, the IP address works in the network layer.

The MAC address gives a unique identification to the hardware interface of the network, while the IP address gives a unique identification to the software interface of the network. In addition, if address assignment is taken into account, the MAC addresses are permanently assigned to the adapters and cannot be changed since they are physical addresses. On the other hand, the IP addresses, static or dynamic, can be modified according to the needs because they are logical entities or addresses. In addition, MAC addresses are handy for local networks.

If the format is taken into account, IP addresses use long addresses of 32 or 128 bits, while MAC addresses use a address of 48 bits. In a simplified view, an IP address can be considered to support software implementations and a MAC address can be considered to be a hardware implementation of the network.

Despite the differences, IP networks maintain a mapping between the MAC address and the IP address of a device, called the ARP or Address Resolution Protocol.

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