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Why Does My Router Have Three Mac Addresses?


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#1 caljohnsmith

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:30 PM

I have the ubiquitous Linksys WRT54G router, and when I go into its configuration settings under "Status", I can choose either "Router", "Local Network", or "Wireless." All of those sections list a MAC address that is slightly different--only the last hex digit varies:

Router: 00:14:BF:D6:CD:29
Local Network: 00:14:BF:D6:CD:28
Wireless: 00:14:BF:D6:CD:2A

So since my router is hooked up to my DSL modem, my DSL modem sees the "Router" MAC address, but any computer that uses the router on the LAN will see either the LAN or wireless MAC address, depending on whether they are connected via ethernet or wireless.

So the question is, why are there three MAC addresses for the same router? I thought the whole point of the MAC address was to uniquely identify the router, and I don't see how there would be any networking conflicts if one MAC address was used in all the above three cases. So why not just use one MAC address?

Thanks for any insight/help. :thumbsup:

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#2 nigglesnush85

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:25 AM

Hello caljohnsmith,

You are correct, a MAC address is unique to your router. The reason you are seeing three addresses is because your router will have an address for each connection type.

An example would be a laptop with a modem, wireless, and ethernet; The connection mediums would also have their own separate name. If I was to connect via wireless I would use connection X, if I wanted to connect via cable I would use connection Y, and so on.
Regards,

Alan.

#3 caljohnsmith

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:20 PM

Thanks, Alan, that makes a lot more sense to me now why there would be a need for a separate MAC address for each network interface. :thumbsup:

#4 nigglesnush85

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 02:33 PM

No problem, glad to help.
Regards,

Alan.




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