Quick, what does MAC stand for?

Even after decades working with computers, I still forget. No one really remembers “Media Access Controller”, because we call them NICs. MAC is just short for “MAC Address”. Frankly, more often than not I think of MAC as “Machine Address Code”. Makes more frelling sense to me.

But for those who have no clue what I’m talking about, MAC does indeed stand for “Media Access Controller”, it relates to Network Interface Cards and we don’t really care about Media Access Controllers because no one calls them that, we call them NICs or Network Cards. Got that?

Here’s what everyone in IT means when they refer to a MAC: 00:11:AA:44:F1:DD

Every network controller needs a MAC address, regardless of what kind of networking it does. MAC addresses are need for layer 2 networking. If you don’t know what that means, you can review the OSI model or just ignore it because it’s not important. Just know that MAC addresses (or MACs) are just as critical to computer networks as IP addresses. And just like IP addresses, MACs are assigned by a central authority. The IEEE.

<cue ominous crack of thunder>