Media Access Control (MAC)
Media Access Control (MAC) refers to the methods and protocols used to control access to a communication medium in a computer network. It is a sublayer of the Data Link Layer in the OSI model and is responsible for the transmission of data packets over a shared network medium.
MAC protocols are used to determine how devices on a network can access the network and share its bandwidth. They help to coordinate the transmission of data packets between different devices to prevent collisions and ensure that data is transmitted reliably and efficiently.
There are several different MAC protocols used in computer networks, including Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), which is used in Ethernet networks, and Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA), which is used in wireless networks.
The MAC address is a unique identifier assigned to every network interface controller (NIC) in a device. It is used to identify devices on a network and ensure that data packets are sent to the correct device. The MAC address is essential for network communication, as it enables devices to communicate with each other over a shared network medium.
Overall, the MAC layer plays a critical role in managing access to the network medium and ensuring that data is transmitted reliably and efficiently in computer networks.