Whenever you click on an enticing link in a web browser, the website you are looking at knows to send whatever the link contains to your computer and not your neighbors.
Because Your computer send it IP address kind of like a return on an envelope but, as it turns out IP address only get you as far as the modem you have in your house. And these days Most of us have tons of things connected to our routers especially wireless phones, laptops, tablets, computers, other people’s phone, Consoles, Chrome-cast and they are all connected simultaneously.
How does your home network Windows knows to send data to you?
The device on your network has a Mac address. Mac stands for Media Access Control. It identifies which device is which on your local network.
How it works?
When data arrives at your home from the worldwide internet. Routers need to decide which device to send the data. It does this by keeping the track of Mac addresses of all the devices connected to it. Then assigning what’s called a private IP address usually starting from 192.168 to every device.
This is also why we usually punch in those Numbers to access your router’s control panel through your browser. It is very different from a public IP, which is what the rest of the internet sees. As being your IP address for your entire home network. And what’s comes up when you type what’s my IP address? into Google.
You have to keep track of outbound request such as when you click on a link so when the data you want arrives at your router it attaches the correct private IP address to the data packets ensuring that they go to your computer or device. All those private IP is correspond to the correct MAC address.
Your computer has both private IP address and Mac address. That can put individually to identify it. And they both are required. Although both the public and private IP addresses stay the same throughout this process. The Mac addresses on the data packets are constantly being change. It only tell data where to go? What next hop? When your data gets to next device. The Mac address is changed in order to tell it where to go?
Since your data might go through numerous servers and routers before it finally gets to your device Mac address information is crucial. Even though you have a private IP address another upside of MAC address. There is normally, they always stay the same with many devices. Having the Mac address is hard coded into the Firmware at the factory making it easy to spot malfunctioning device on the network. If you are trying to troubleshoot.
Many routers use Mac address to restrict access to unknown devices. Very useful if you are worried that someone might try to steal your Wi-Fi password and agent login physically ISPs. ISP also use predefined Mac addresses to make it easy to provide you with the service you paid for.
So your neighbor is not the one getting that Expensive Gigabyte connection that you are shelling out money for every month. It is possible to spoof Mac address. You might want to if you are concern about your privacy on a public Wi-Fi connection or you connect a new device to your network. That you’re ISP might not recognize.