Mac Address VS. IP Address?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by benighted80, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. benighted80 macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2008
    I've been looking around for software that will hide my IP address. In doing so, I've come across some programs that promise to hide my Mac address. Is this the same as my IP address? I was looking at screenshots from one of the programs - hide-my-mac-address from hide-my-up - and it shows how the Mac address has been changed, but the IP address stays the same.

    So is there a difference between Mac addresses and your IP? Do you recommend any programs that can hide my IP address on my Mac?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. vandozza macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2006
    i think if you go system prefs/security/firewall/advanced, you can enable "stealth mode."

    i believe that this will help, to some degree, in "hiding" your computer on a network.

    someone with more network knowledge can probably confirm/deny this for us.

    edit - and no your MAC address is not the same as your IP address. MAC addresses identify communication ports on your computer (ie. 2 ethernet ports have different MAC addresses, your airport has another MAC address, where as your IP is your "address on the internet"
  3. EricBrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2005
    Hide your IP address? Take your computer offline and it is hidden. If you want to remain online, you can not hide it.
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Yes, they operate at completely different layers of the OSI model.

    Your IP (internet protocol) address is a unique number assigned to your computer within a network (usually by a router). Your MAC (media access control) address is unique worldwide, and is permanently attached to your networking card (ethernet, airport, etc).
  5. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    haha its funny how the OP typed "Mac" instead of MAC as in Media Access Control and some other people write "MAC" instead of Mac as in Macintosh.

    your local (internal) IP address is the address given by your router to hardware on your local network to connect to the internet

    your external IP address is the address given by your ISP to allow you connect to the internet. the only way that you can hide your external IP that i know of is by using a proxy. enterprises use extensive proxy methods but you can set your own up pretty easily, just search for free private proxies in Google.
  6. EricBrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2005
    Even if you use a proxy, like richthomas said, you still can not hide it. The proxy will know your IP.

    Why do you want to hide your IP, maybe that will help us come up with an answer.
  7. phalewhale macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2007
    Enabling stealth mode means that your machine will not respond to Ping (ICMP Echo Requests). Ping normally returns a reply but stealth mode does not issue a reply. However, it is still possible to know if the host is active or not...

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