How to Use a MAC Address to Find an IP Address

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Depending upon your specific circumstances, there may come a time when you need to source the IP address of a computer. In some situations, this can be accomplished relatively easily. In others, a lack of relevant data could make pinpointing the IP address challenging. A computer's media access control (MAC) address can provide computer users with a shortcut for locating the IP address attached to the same unit. If you are trying to identify a device by MAC address data, you can do so using a few relatively simple steps.


Using Your DHCP Server

By far the most effective and streamlined approach to collecting IP address information with a MAC address is to examine the DHCP server console. If you are using wireless internet in your home, you can access IP address and MAC address information by opening the software console connected with your router. Although the particular details for individual routers may vary, the router console should provide a variety of information concerning the devices connected to it.

If your computer is currently connected to wireless internet using your personal router, you can open the console and locate the pertinent information about your IP address and MAC address. Usually, router consoles show the IP addresses of connected devices, which can then be individually explored to locate the relevant MAC address for the IP in question.


Exploring System Settings

Both Windows and Mac operating systems provide easily accessible tools that display the relevant IP address and MAC address information. On a Mac computer, for example, you can open the "Network" options found in the "System Preferences" menu to find information about your computer's MAC address and IP address in the "Advanced" screen.

On a Windows computer, you can find more information about IP and MAC addresses by visiting the "Network and Sharing" menu within the Control Panel. Click the "Change Adapter Settings" link on the right side of the screen to gain access to a list of current network connections. From here, you can right-click a connection and then select the "Status" option from the drop-down menu to explore more information about IP addresses and MAC address. It is important to note, however, that the MAC address is labeled as the "Physical Address" in this menu.


Researching Online Services

A variety of MAC address tracker programs are available to download for both the Mac and Windows platforms. These software packages, many of which are free to download, can quickly scan your network and locate the relevant IP and MAC addresses of all connected devices. Given the fact that these programs can let you monitor a wide array of devices simultaneously, software such as this may be the preferred solution for individuals who manage large networks of connected devices.