Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 58 58 people found this article helpful Media Access Control (MAC) By Bradley Mitchell Writer An MIT graduate who brings years of technical experience to articles on SEO, computers, and wireless networking. our editorial process LinkedIn Bradley Mitchell Updated July 24, 2019 Johner Images / Getty Images Home Networking The Wireless Connection Routers & Firewalls Network Hubs ISP Broadband Ethernet Installing & Upgrading Wi-Fi & Wireless Tweet Share Email Media Access Control (MAC) technology provides unique identification and access control for computers on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. In wireless networking, MAC is the radio control protocol on the wireless network adapter. Media Access Control works at the lower sublayer of the data link layer (Layer 2) of the OSI model. MAC Addresses Media Access Control assigns a unique number to each IP network adapter called the MAC address. A MAC address is 48 bits long. The MAC address is commonly written as a sequence of 12 hexadecimal digits as follows: 48-3F-0A-91-00-BC Some Internet service providers track the MAC address of a home router for security purposes. Many routers support a process called cloning that allows the MAC address to be simulated so that it matches one the service provider is expecting. This allows households to change their router (and their real MAC address) without having to notify the provider.