Chapter 2. LAN MAC Addresses

If a computer wants to communicate with another system on its LAN, it needs to identify the target system. Media access control (MAC) addresses (also called physical addresses) are used to identify LAN destinations. Every network interface card (NIC) that connects to a LAN must have a MAC address that identifies it uniquely on that LAN.

Unplugging a computer, moving it, and plugging it into a different LAN is a pretty commonplace event. Early on, it was decided that it would be a good idea to assign a unique MAC address to every NIC that is manufactured. That way, a card could be used anywhere without any worry of running into an address conflict.

The IEEE has been given the job of supervising the assignment of ...

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