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  1. #1
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    Question Different MAC Addresses for the Same Network?

    Here's a basic question about MAC addresses.

    My (Asus) router supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks. According to my router, each network has a unique MAC address.

    In Windows 8.1, I can go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings and right-click on my wireless network adapter to see its Status. When the Wi-Fi Status window opens I can click on the Details button to see the MAC address ("Physical Address") of my wireless adapter. The MAC address that Windows reports for my wireless adapter is the same whether I am connected to the 2.4 GHz network or the 5 GHz network, even though my router shows different MAC addresses for each network.

    To make things even more confusing (for me), the MAC address that Windows shows is different from either of the MAC addresses that my router shows.

    Clearly there is something I am not understanding about how MAC addresses are assigned. Can someone please explain?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Ranger,

    Windows is showing you the MAC address of the Wireless Card in your computer not the one in your router. The router has it's own MAC addresses as shown by your Router software. MAC addresses are assigned to Physical Devices by their makers, e.g. router, wireless adapters, wired adapters, etc. HTH
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  3. #3
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    MAC is hard coded into each network adapter to guaranty a unique address. The can be overridden in software but that is not usually a good idea. They are never assigned by the router. IP addresses are assigned by the router.
    Are you sure you are seeing the MAC address?

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Ranger,

    Windows is showing you the MAC address of the Wireless Card in your computer not the one in your router. The router has it's own MAC addresses as shown by your Router software. MAC addresses are assigned to Physical Devices by their makers, e.g. router, wireless adapters, wired adapters, etc. HTH
    Aha! Now I (think I) understand:

    Windows is reading the MAC address of the wireless adapter attached to my computer, which is the same whether that adapter is receiving a 2.4 GHz signal or a 5 GHz signal.

    My router is reading the MAC addresses of its two (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) LAN-facing ports.

    And none of this affects the routing of my bits because that's done by IP address.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    By George I think you've got it!
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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