Mac Address Assignments

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TCP/IP networks use both MAC addresses and IP addresses but for separate purposes.

A MAC address remains fixed to the device's hardware while the IP address for that same device can be changed depending on its TCP/IP network configuration.

When a residential gateway is changed, the Internet provider now sees a different MAC address being reported and blocks that network from going online.

A process called cloning solves this problem by enabling the router (gateway) to keep reporting the old MAC address to the provider even though its own hardware address is different.

IP networks manage the conversion between IP and MAC addresses using Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) relies on ARP to manage the unique assignment of IP addresses to devices.The leftmost 6 digits (24 bits) called a "prefix" is associated with the adapter manufacturer (M).Each vendor registers and obtains MAC prefixes as assigned by the IEEE.The manufacturer agrees to give all NICs (and other Ethernet products) a MAC address that begins with its assigned 3-byte OUI.The manufacturer also assigns a unique value for the last 3 bytes, a number that manufacturer has never used with that OUI.If you find any issues, have an idea on what to add or improve on, or just have a question, please let us know by going to our contact page. Since we have been subject to abuse of our API from several large companies and smart phone app creators who have incorrectly implemented our API, we have essentially been DDo Sed for the past few months. First we would like to thank all our loyal users, especially the ones who have donated!Note that hardware from different vendors may happen to share the same device portion of the address.While traditional MAC addresses are all 48 bits in length, a few types of networks require 64-bit addresses instead.Instead of 64-bit hardware addresses, though, IPv6 automatically translates 48-bit MAC address to a 64-bit address by inserting a fixed (hardcoded) 16-bit value FFFE in between the vendor prefix and the device identifier.IPv6 calls these numbers identifiers to distinguish them from true 64-bit hardware addresses.

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