Addressing & Protocol

What is a Protocol/MAC address/Packet?

What is a Network?

A Network allows computers to COMMUNICATE with each other and SHARE resources - e.g. storage, internet access, peripherals (printers, scanners etc...)


Protocols are a set of rules that define how computers and devices communicate. For computers, this is binary.

Data Packets

When two devices want to communicate across a LAN, one device will send a message to the other. This message is split into smaller chunks - called data packets. These packets are broadcast onto the LAN with the MAC address of the device that the message is for. The destination device will see all the traffic on the LAN but will only pick up the packets with its own MAC address on them.

MAC Address

The MAC address (Media Access Control) is a hexadecimal number that is unique to that particular device and is used to transmit between devices on a LAN. It is a unique reference number so that the message is delivered only to the intended device. Within a LAN each device must have a NIC to connect to the network. This card will have a MAC address which cannot be changed.
The MAC address is a 48-bit address that is written as 12 Hex digits to make it easier to understand!