How to Find the MAC Address of Wireless Adapters

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The Media Access Control (MAC) address of a wireless adapter is a unique series of letters and numbers that is assigned to every network-enabled device. This number is used for internal network routing, among other things, and is often used on wireless networks to only allow certain devices to access the network. If you need to find the MAC address of your wireless adapter, you can do so easily whether you are on a Windows, Mac or Linux computer.

Windows

  • Log in to your computer, click on the "Start" button, then click on the "Run" button or the "Start Search" button. Type "cmd" into the box, then press "Enter."

  • Type the following command into the command prompt:

    ipconfig /all

  • Find the MAC address under the section of returned text titled "Physical Address." If you have more than one network card on your computer, you will see multiple entries of text and multiple MAC addresses. Look for the MAC address under the connection labeled similar to "Wireless Connection" to find the MAC address of your wireless adapter.

Mac

  • Log in to your computer and then open the System Preferences. Inside the System Preferences window, select the tab marked "Network."

  • Choose the appropriate location, then select the "AirPort Adapter" from the menu marked "Show."

  • Find the MAC address, which is located next to the text titled "AirPort ID."

Linux

  • Log in to your computer and open a terminal prompt from the System menu. If your Linux computer does not have a GUI, you will not need to open a terminal prompt.

  • In the terminal prompt window, type the following command, then press the "Enter" key:

    sudo ifconfig -a

    You will be required to enter your root or sudo password after you complete this command. Do so, then press the "Enter" key.

  • Look for the portion of the returned text that is labeled "HWaddr"; that is the MAC address.

Tips & Warnings

  • MAC addresses are also usually printed on the bottom or sides of network hardware, so if you want to find the MAC address of a wireless adapter not connected to a computer, look at the physical piece of hardware for the MAC address.

References

  • Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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