How to get the Network Address (MAC address) of a Network Adapter

Terminology note

The network address of a network adapter has a number of alternative naming conventions. All names provided below mean exactly the same thing:

  • Network address
  • Adapter ddress
  • MAC address
  • Physical address
  • Ethernet address
  • Hardware address

What is a Network Address?

Every Network Adapter has a unique Network Address. We sometimes need you to provide the Network Address to facilitate connection to College networks. For example, if you want to connect a new computer to the staff wired network, we will need the Network Address of the Wired Network Adapter. If you are connecting a laptop, we will also need the Network Address of the Wireless Adapter.

Network address always consists of 12 characters. It is usually presented in hexadecimal format. This means that it may contain numbers 0-9 and letters A-F. It is often presented with hyphens, you can omit them.

On a standard PC from an official College supplier, the Network Address is usually located on a label attached somewhere on the machine. If you cannot find it, or you have a non-standard device, you can obtain the network address using instructions below.

Some laptops, when running off the battery, will turn off network cards that are not in use in order to save power. If this is the case, you will need to either connect to ac power or disable this power saving feature in order to get the adapter address.

How to check the Network Address?

To get the address of your network adapter follow the instructions below for your operating system. Need help determining your operating system?

Windows 10, 8, 7

  1. On the keyboard, press Windows Logo+R.
  2. In the Run box, type cmd, the press Enter.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type ipconfig /all command and press Enter key.
  4. The Network Address is given as the Physical Address. Note that if your computer has more than one network card e.g. a wired network card and a wireless network card, then you may get two entries as in the case below. Please supply IT Services with the appropriate network card address depending on whether you are requesting a wired (Ethernet Local Area Connection) or wireless (Wireless Network Connection) connection.

    Windows Vista Ip Configuration Details for Wired Card

    Windows Vista IP Configuration

Mac OS X

  1. Click the Apple Icon, then click System Preferences.
  2. Select Network.
  3. Select a type of connection from the panel on the left--usually Ethernet or Wi-Fi (Airport in earlier versions of OS X).
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Click the Hardware (Ethernet in earlier versions of OS X) tab on the right.
  6. The Network Address is listed there as MAC Address (Ethernet ID in earlier versions of OS X)

    OS 10.5 Ethernet Address

If the MAC address is not listed there, and if you are using a USB ethernet adapter, then try the following:

  1. Start the Network Utility app - this is located in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder
  2. Select the Info tab
  3. Select USB Ethernet in the dropdown menu - the MAC address should be listed

Printer

If your printer has an internal network card, find the configuration page menu option on the printer and print it. This page will include the Network Address.

If you have an external network card box (e.g. Jet Direct box), connect the box to the printer and press the button on the box and hold it down until the lights on the box stop flashing. Release the button and the printer will print two configuration pages included in which will be the hardware address which could also be referred to as the MAC address or ethernet adapter address.

Digital Signage

In order to retrieve the network adapter address of the digital signage device you will need to either refer to the manufacturer's literature or contact the equipment supplier.