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Why only hexadecimal number system is used in MAC address in an NIC card and other number system ain't ?
asked in Computer Networks by Boss (12.6k points) | 41 views
because MAC is 48 bits .if we use binary,it will be too long to represent.

Also we can have 8 octet having 2 hexa number in each.
I think hexadecimal numbers are "just" used to represent MAC addresses but at its core, it must be binary numbers, as we know MAC is 48 bit instead of writing 48-bits, it is better to write a shorted representation(8 bits separated by ':' as  MM:MM:MM:SS:SS:SS where each part is of two 4bits in size) for better human interaction and understanding. It is just a comfortable formatting option.
@bhuv,if u  talk of normal human interaction decimal is acceptable too. Wouldn't decimal no system provide a better formatted option?

@Anand,8 octet I do agree!!!But why only hexadecimal?

Devshree Dubey, humans are very much comfortable with base 10, but machines can't


machines are comfortable with bases as powers of 2, it may be 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc

but comparing binary, octal and Hexa ===> Choosing Hexa is reducing the length.

may be it is the reason but i am not sure

@Shaik Masthan,I see that. But machines can understand binary in a better way. As regards NIC is concerned,it is but obvious that MAC address is unique. Isn't it brother? It's like an identity. So going for a decimal or octal isn't a wrong option. :)
It is just a number representation. Nothing to do with whether a machine can understand or not. No matter how you represent it, ones and zeros are the only thing machine will see.

Representation is for convention and convenience. Why is decimal used for IP address and hex for MAC? Probably those are the notations that got widely accepted or used. IP address would have been more compact if represented in hex. But this is just the way things got evolved and gradually got accepted and then became convention :)

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