How to Find a Mac Address Remotely

MAC addresses connect network hardware devices, including your computer.

All devices on a TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), including your computer, have unique numbers assigned to them known as Media Access Control (MAC) addresses. Networks use MAC addresses to connect hardware devices (hubs, routers, switches, printers) and facilitate traffic between the devices. Computers utilize a service called Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) to track and decipher TCP/IP and MAC addresses. You can find MAC addresses for your own devices on the products themselves, in your ownerâ??s manuals or by running a simple command series on your computer. You also can remotely access MAC addresses for devices on your network.

Step 1

Open the MS-DOS prompt in any Windows program by clicking the â??Startâ? button, selecting â??Runâ? and typing â??cmdâ? (without quotation marks) in the text box.

Step 2

Type "ping" (without quote marks) at the prompt, followed by a space and the Web address of the source. For example, type "ping www.msnbc.msn.com\" and the message "Pinging www.msnbc.msn.com [208.68.139.38] with 32 bytes of data:" will appear, along with other information. The series of numbers is MSNBC's IP address. (See References 1)

Step 3

Type "arp-a" (without quote marks) at the next prompt (this command works only with Windows 7 and Vista; you cannot use this command in XP) and hit "Enter."

Step 4

View the information displayed, which should include an â??Interfaceâ? (the IP number you pinged) and the â??Internet Address Physical Address Typeâ? (which is the IP number followed by the MAC address and will be displayed something like â??248.67.129.101 ab-cf-d8-34-ba-7aâ?). "ab-cf-d8-34-ba-7a" is the MAC address.

Step 5

Locate your own IP and MAC numbers. Click on â??Start,â? select â??Runâ? and type â??cmdâ? (without quote marks) in the box. Click â??Okayâ? or hit â??Enter.â? At the command prompt, type â??IPCONFIG/ALL.â? Hit â??Enter.â? The resulting box will contain various information, but your computerâ??s MAC address is listed as the â??Physical Addressâ? and appears in a configuration like â??00-03-47-E5-62-5b.â? Your IP address also is listed, as well as various router and server addresses.

Tip

There are many ways to open the MS-DOS prompt in Windows 7 and Vista if the method described here doesnâ??t work. (See References 2)rnYou can find the IP address of someone who emails you by (in Outlook Express) clicking on the "File" menu," selecting "Properties" and clicking on the "Details" tab. The resulting message box will contain several lines of "Recieved: from" text, as well as other information. The last "Received: from" message is the email sender's IP address. (See References 3)

Warning

You cannot perform the "arp-a" MS-DOS prompt function in Windows XP like you can in Windows 7 and Vista.

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