OUI is an abbreviation that stands for Organizationally Unique Identifier. You might ask “What organization?”. Read on.
After launching the command prompt on this very box and taking a look at what we can find out about it.
Type in this command — ipconfig /all.
Provided I launch the command prompt and take a look at ipconfig /all, you’ll notice that part of the output right here, shows a physical address.
The address starts off with 90e2ba. Take note of that for future reference.
Launch your browser. Then, go to your search engine of choice. What we want to do is find OUI, MAC address vendor. To do this, use the Wireshark OUI Lookup Tool.
Paste in there what was copied, the 90e2ba, and find it.
Next, go down and notice what it says here, Intel is the OUI, Organizationally Unique Identifier.
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In case I go back to my command prompt, you’ll notice that they happen to agree because my machine also tells me that the MAC address is owned by ‑‑ or manufactured by at least ‑‑ Intel.
Well, it turns out the roundabout answer is the OUI is something that’s owned. Think of it as an address space that’s owned by somebody. Someone registers it, in this case, Intel. Then, they said, “All right, the first half of this MAC address, the first 24 bits, that’s Intel.”
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Next, the other half is like a serial number. As a matter of fact, Intel will look at the remaining numbers, the other 24 bits, start at the bottom and increment by one, and start consuming the other half of the MAC address space.
Wonder how is it put on the device? In case you think all the way back to the manufacturing process, as the individual device, in this case, let’s say it’s the network adapter. Amidst it being manufactured, the MAC address is burned into its permanent memory PROM / EEPROM and permanently stored there so that even once this device is out on the market, that MAC address is part of it.
Note that there’s software out there that will allow you to manipulate your MAC address, and make it whatever you want. In summary, it’s put there when the device is made.
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