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What are the unique PC IDs ? What is "IP", and what is "MAC" address ? Every adapter is UNIQUE

Updated on June 10, 2012
Example of RJ-45 jack , usually used in "Ethernet Adapters" and "Switch" devices.
Example of RJ-45 jack , usually used in "Ethernet Adapters" and "Switch" devices. | Source

Need for identification

As Internet was spreading, need for "unique" computer "ID" became an MUST. Without it, all Internet users were be the same. Taking for instance "Ad Sense" feature provided by Google, it uses I.P addresses for recognizing clicks and where did the clicks came. But first, let's make some things clear...

There are two ways of identifying computer, client or server - it's not important. Everyone of them, by International Standard has to have unique "MAC" address.

What's "MAC" address?

- "MAC" address, or "Media Access Control" address, is unique address that every network adapter has. Every single company, that makes network adapters, has an obligation to assign an unique identifier that's stored in hardware's "read-only" memory.There is an, so called, "OSI reference model" , and by that model - "MAC" address is categorized in "Layer 2 - Data Link Layer". For example, you are connected to the Internet trough an Ethernet adapter.Ethernet adapter is usually used for "L.A.N" networks using RJ-45 jack, but in case of connecting to the Internet trough the Ethernet adapter - your I.S.P is IN "Local Area Network" , providing you Internet connection - along with D.H.C.P and D.N.S servers. Your network adapter, in this case Ethernet adapter, with maximum speed of 100 Mb/s , has an unique "MAC" address made of hexadecimal digits separated by hyphens, and that address is recorded, if needed, by your Internet Service Provider or web-application that requires more than just I.P address although that's rare. So, what makes "MAC" address different than I.P is that "MAC" address is permanent.It cannot be changed, like I.P . Also, "MAC" address is assigned in hardware company that makes IEEE 802 network technologies, and not by D.H.C.P server - like I.P addresses are.

What is I.P address?

I will try to bring you closer, the knowledge about I.P addresses, by making the definitions and way of functioning - to the level, where we all will understand it easily.

NOTE: "INTERNET I.P ADDRESS" - called "Subnet mask" IS AWAYS :

Simply said, I.P address is an identifier of computer while it's on network.Whether we talk about Intranet or Internet - I.P address is something that represents the " ID " of computer, or device, every time it connects or try to connect to the network. By definition, it is an numerical label of each device that is participating in a computer network that uses Internet Protocol for communication.

There are two different types of I.P addresses
. One is "dynamic" ,and the other one is

The difference between dynamic and static I.P address is that "dynamic I.P" is called "dynamic" because when client tries to gain an I.P address from D.H.C.P server - the D.H.C.P server assign different I.P every time when client "asks" for it. When we talk about "static I.P" , it's "static" because the assigned I.P of a client that "asked for it" is always same.

Versions of I.P addresses and how are we UNIQUE on the Internet

There are two different types of I.P addresses. One is 32-bt version - called "IPv4" , and the second one is 128-bit version called "IPv6".

The speed of spreading of Internet clients is amazing.The need for unique I.P addressing is greater by every day, by increased number of Internet users. So far, IPv4 - the 32-bit version of I.P is "badly enough" for needs, but it's still in greater use than IPv6. For understanding everything, I will try to explain - first - how the assigning of I.P functioning.

When computer gains an I.P address , You have to know that I.P address is assigned by "D.H.C.P Server" . Every Internet Service Provider has to have it. Your computer, first tries to reach the "D.N.S Server" in order to resolve it's name to the I.P - simply said. What D.N.S Server actually do, is that it translates, domain names, meaningful to humans into the numerical identifiers. The example would be like this, the address meaningful to humans would be . The "D.N.S Server" resolves that name in to for example. That's how about it is with Yours computer or device. At first, computer ,for instance, sends an "request" for "Name Resolving" , when name is resolved - D.H.C.P server sends an "query" to the "D.N.S" Server for "resolved name" , that-wise - D.H.C.P server looks up in to it's "referent log" and "look-up" for available I.P - which is forwarded and assigned to the computer. This is the most simplest way for understanding how the "I.P" is gained and how our computer gains an unique address - which represents our computer as an "ID" on network/Internet.

Now, when we have got our "Internet Protocol" - I.P - then, we can "work" on Internet/Intranet.
You, and your computer, right now - while reading - have assigned one IPv4 I.P. The example of 32-bit I.P address is [dotted-decimal notation] , fist group of three numbers has to be ONE BIT which is eight bytes, four times eight = thirty two. That's all. I think, now you starting to get... It's same with IPv6, just, the address is longer - as you assumed.
The example of IPv6 - 128 bit - address would be 2741:0:2c0:501::15 . The last number represents the so called "slash". IPv6 enables us to use feature called "multicasting", which I will write about in some of my next Hubs.

Rapid increase of the Internet users

Number of the Internet users is increasing rapidly, especially among youth.
Number of the Internet users is increasing rapidly, especially among youth. | Source


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    • profile image

      Selly 6 years ago

      Nice work,really!!!

    • profile image

      MCTIP 6 years ago

      well, i can surly say that this was very helpful. I was always thinking about how does the communication between two computers,or computer and server,or something like that function.

    • profile image

      maja 6 years ago

      I've stayed speechless after this...Beautiful

    • profile image

      maja 6 years ago

      Really nice hub, indeed

    • profile image

      Sally 6 years ago

      Iam delighted with this article!

    • Drenguin profile image

      Drenguin 6 years ago from Somewhere

      This is nice, really helpful.