Here’s how to check the Mac ethernet hardware address (MAC address):

  1. Open System Preferences from Apple menu
  2. Select Network from View menu
  3. Select Ethernet from the list of adapters (WiFi for OS 10.7 Lion)
    • Connection types include WiFi, Airport, Ethernet, and Built-in Ethernet.
  4. Select Advanced
  5. Select Ethernet or Airport tab (Hardware for OS 10.7 Lion)

Note: the hardware address is the 12 hex characters (letters and numbers) next to MAC Address:, Ethernet ID:, or AirPort ID:.

Why Do You Need the MAC Address?

The MAC address is basically a serial number for your network adapter. As you can imagine by the term serial number, this is useful for identifying and controlling devices on a network.

Devices can be controlled with MAC addresses by assigning a static IP address, filtering by the MAC address, and even force time limitations on wireless access.

Finding MAC Address from Terminal

  1. Open Terminal from the Applications:Utilities folder.
  2. Type ifconfig and press the Return key.
  3. From the information provided about your interfaces, look for the 12 hex character MAC address for the interface you’re using, probably en0. Likely labeled as ether.

Update: here’s a good article from HowToGeek on How to change your MAC address.

Related Mac Network Articles

That’s a couple of ways to check MAC ethernet hardware addresses. Which one is your favorite or do you use a different method or tool entirely?

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