Find Device or IP Address Using MAC Address

by Lavanya Rath - Last Updated: November 16, 2021

Find Device or IP Address Using MAC Address

Just like how individuals are unique, devices are unique too! Not in a physical sense but by the way they identify themselves in a network.

In other words, every device on a network has a unique address that helps with its identification. This unique address is called the IP address.

What is the IP Address?

Internet Protocol (IP) address is a set of numbers that play a two-pronged role in a network – one to identify a device uniquely and the other to identify its location.

How does it work?

Whenever you open a website, your browser sends a request to the Domain Naming Server, where the human-readable URL is converted into a machine-readable set of numbers. Next, these numbers are used to identify the location and the server that contains the information we need. Finally, a message is sent to that server, and the contents received from it are displayed on your browser. This entire process is quicker than the battling of your eyelid, and that’s why we don’t know its complexity.

This machine-readable address is the IP address, and it is in the form of xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. Each of these can be a number from 0 to 255.

For example, the IP address of the Google server is 8.8.8.8 while that of ESPN is 45.63.254.129. As you can see, IPv4 uses 32 bits to identify a device uniquely.

This format is called the IPv4, and since the sheer number of websites have exhausted all possible options that come with IPv4, the world is slowly migrating to IPv6, which contains 128 bits compared to the 32 bits IPv4.

Now that you know what an IP address is, let’s see how you can find it.

How to Find the IP Address of Your Device?

To find the IP address of your device, go to Command Prompt, and type “ipconfig“.

Scroll down to see your IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. You’ll be able to see the difference.

What happens if you must know the IP address of another device? If you know the associated URL like google.com, you can use it. Otherwise, you’ll have to look for other information like a MAC address through which you can identify the IP address.

And that’s precisely what we’re going to see next.

What is a MAC Address?

Finding a device’s IP address using the MAC address is a relatively lengthy process. But before that, let’s understand what a MAC address is.

Media Access Control (MAC) address is a six-byte or 12-digit hexadecimal number hardcoded to a Network Interface Controller or Card. As you may have guessed, this is also a unique identifier used for communications within a network.

Using the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP), you can use this MAC address to identify a device’s IP using the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).

Note that MAC addresses are fixed while IP addresses keep changing.

What is ARP?

ARP is a set of procedures that connect an IP address that could change depending on the device’s location to the fixed MAC address hardwired into each NIC.

It is impossible to map the IP address with the MAC directly because they have different formats and lengths, so an intermediary mapping protocol becomes essential. As you know, IPv4 uses 32 bits, but MAC uses 48 bits, and a protocol like ARP bridges the difference between these two lengths.

So, how does ARP help?

Working of the ARP

Each time a new computer is added to the network, it gets a unique IP address.

This computer starts communicating with other computers by sending and receiving data packets. A piece of hardware equipment called the gateway is responsible for allowing these packets to and from a device. This gateway turns to the ARP system for getting the associated MAC address.

The ARP system has something called an ARP cache or a table that maps a system’s IP and MAC address, and it immediately looks up this table to give the pertinent information.

Every time a device sends a message, the gateway ensures that the IP-MAC address is mapped. Otherwise, it sends a new request for the mapping.

The size of the ARP cache is limited, so addresses stay on for a specific time only. This is by design, and it is purged regularly to free the space. This is also done to prevent cyber attackers from stealing IP and MAC addresses by accessing the ARP cache.

Now that we know what IP and MAC addresses and the underlying ARP are let’s see how you can find an IP address using a MAC address.

How to Find an IP Address Using a Mac Address?

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how you can find an IP address using a MAC address.

  • Click the Windows Start Button and select Run. When a dialog box opens, type “cmd” and press ENTER. This will open the command prompt.
  • In the command prompt, type “arp” list all the options you can use with this command. Knowing what you can do with this command can help you to use it better.
  • To see all the MAC addresses and their associated IP addresses, type “arp -a”. This command will list all the available MAC addresses in the system. The address on the left is the IP address, while the right is the MAC address.
  • Find the corresponding IP address for the specific MAC address you want.

Thus, this is how you can find an IP address using a MAC address.

One aspect to keep in mind is that this process works well if you have switches. But if you have a router, you will have to log into the router to get its MAC address and the corresponding IP address through it.

Tools and Utilities

While these steps may seem simple for many, they can feel overwhelming and arduous for some users, depending on each individual’s technical knowledge and experience. Even for tech-savvy users, this is not the most intuitive way to find the IP address.

The good news is that many tools can ease this process. You must enter the MAC address on a UI from a user standpoint, and the tool automatically fetches the corresponding IP address. Thus, you don’t have to worry about ARP or other technical processes that run in the background.

Here’s a list of tools that get the IP address using a MAC address:

  • SolarWinds MAC Address Scanner – FREE TRIAL As a part of the SolarWinds Engineer’s Toolset, this utility makes it easy to discover the MAC address of all devices on your network and their corresponding IP address.
  • ManageEngine IP Address Monitoring Tool As a part of the ManageEngine OpUtils, this tool manages DNS names, tracks IP addresses, and maps MAC addresses with IP addresses.
  • Advanced IP Scanner A free tool to scan IP addresses, provide the associated information, and map IP addresses with the corresponding MAC address.

Let’s take a look at the features of each of these tools so you can decide which one works best for you.

1. SolarWinds MAC Address Scanner – FREE TRIAL

SolarWinds MAC Address Scanner

SolarWinds MAC Address Scanner is one of the tools in its ENgineer’s Toolset bundle, and it helps to find the MAC addresses and their corresponding IP addresses of all devices on the network.

Features

The features of SolarWinds MAC Address Scanner are:

  • Makes it easy to scan for MAC address and map it with their IP address
  • Gives insights into the hardware components in your network, including the manufacturers, hostnames, and other critical information related to your devices
  • Traces MAC addresses and collects a wide range of data related to them
  • Allows you to construct tables that relate IP addresses to their corresponding MAC
  • Generates other identifying information that can help with capacity planning
  • You have the option to configure the data type you need
  • Adding new columns and specifying categories is easy
  • Makes it easy to search local subnets and construct the tables you need for device data
  • Finding MAC addresses across non-local parts of the network is also easy
  • Offers insights into valuable network data
  • Creates an inventory of devices that are connected to various switch ports
  • Ensures network compliance standards
  • Monitors application traffic when you use the broader suite
  • Enables you to quickly assess the security vulnerabilities of the devices that interact with your network

Pricing: Click here to get a quote.

Download: Click here to download a fully functional 14-day free trial.

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2. ManageEngine IP Address Monitoring Tool 

ManageEngine IP Address Monitoring Tool 

ManageEngine IP Address Monitoring Tool is a part of the OpUtils suite of tools and is responsible for monitoring IP addresses and for mapping MAC addresses with their respective IP addresses.

Features

Below are the notable features of the ManageEngine IP Address Monitoring Tool.

  • Helps engineers and administrators to manage their switches and IPs
  • Enables comprehensive monitoring of IP addresses
  • Makes it easy to find IP addresses from the devices’ respective MAC address
  • Supports manual and scheduled IP address monitoring
  • Scans routers, devices, and switches to quickly identify security vulnerabilities
  • Resolves MAC address from the hostname and vice versa
  • Scans large lists of IP addresses to find their corresponding domain names
  • Translates hostnames into IP addresses and vice versa
  • Discovers the physical address of a device and maps it to the IP address
  • Checks the availability and status of an IP address
  • Manages IP addresses in a static environment using a predefined policy
  • Scans subnets and provides information about their availability
  • Provides comprehensive insights into the performance of devices, subnets, and entire networks
  • Scans networks periodically to discover new devices
  • Makes it easy to drill down to the specifics of a device using the MAC address

Pricing: Click here to get a quote.

Download: Click here to download this tool.

3. Advanced IP Scanner

Advanced IP Scanner

The Advanced IP Scanner is a free tool that scans a network in seconds and provides all pertinent information based on the IP address, including the associated MAC address.

Features

The features of Advanced IP Scanner are:

  • It is a reliable tool to analyze LANs
  • Displays all network devices and auto-discovers new devices
  • Gives access to shared folders and provides remote control of devices via RDP
  • Detects the associated MAC address
  • Enables you to control and turn on or off computers remotely
  • Allows you to export the scan results as a CSV file
  • Requires no additional installations

Pricing: 100% FREE

Download: Click here to download the Advanced IP Scanner.

Thus, these are some of the tools and utilities that can make it easy for you to find a device’s IP address using a device’s MAC address.

Conclusion

To recap, an IP address is a unique address for a device within a network that makes it easy to find and communicate with a device in a network. However, this IP address may not always be static and can change depending on the network to which a device connects.

On the other hand, a MAC address is a physical address of a device that is hardwired into it, and it doesn’t change at any point. If you have a device’s MAC address, you can find the related IP address of the same device using a protocol called ARP. This protocol contains a table that dynamically maps the MAC address with the IP address of every device in the network.

But the process involved is complex and requires considerable technical knowledge. To ease this process for everyone, there are many third-party tools and utilities to enter the MAC address through an intuitive user interface and get the associated IP address in return. This way, all the complex steps happen in the background, and from a user’s perspective, it is simple to use and provides information quickly.

Besides IP addresses, these tools also provide other related information that can come in handy for network and device troubleshooting.