MAC stands for Media Access Control. The MAC address is a unique identifier assigned to each network interface for communication on the physical network segment. MAC addresses are used as network addresses for most IEEE 802 network technologies, including Ethernet and WiFi.
A MAC address consists of six bytes, with the first three bytes identifying the manufacturer of the device and the last three bytes identifying the specific device.
For example, the MAC address 00:0a:95:9d:68:16 identifies a device manufactured by 00:0a:95 (hex) and with the specific device number 9d:68:16.
The MAC address is usually stored in read-only memory on the network interface card (NIC) and is retrieved from there when needed. It can also be configured manually, although this is not common.
What does MAC stand for in Apple?
Mac is actually slang for Apple Computer using macOS. Apple’s Macintosh operating system commonly referred to as “Mac OS” or simply “macOS”, is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Inc.
It is designed to run on Apple’s line of Macintosh computers. The history of the Mac OS begins with the original Macintosh System Software, which was introduced in 1984 along with the first Macintosh computer.
This early software was simple and limited, but it laid the foundation for the sophisticated operating system that we know today.