Each NIC (wired, wireless, etc) on a computer has a different MAC address. Given that a computer can have more than one Ethernet card (or whatnot), and ignoring the fact that some devices can modify their "current MAC address", is there a limit (theoretical or practical) to how many different MAC addresses a single PC can have?

  • It's of course always limited by available resources. ;) The OS needs to keep track of all those interfaces, which at least takes some memory.
    – Daniel B
    Apr 30, 2016 at 11:57

1 Answer 1


This depends somewhat on the hardware and network topography - I dont know of a theoretical limit (save for all possible maxs), but the practical limit could be as low as low hundreds due to arp table sizes in switches, routers and other devices, and possibly also the impact of responding to broadcasts.

The next question woild be how to get this many macs - it must be possible to simultaneously define them on a single nic - as this is what virtual machines do. Likewise you may be able to put a fair number of network cards (eg multiple quad port cards) and further amplify each of these with VLAN trinking to switch ports depending on how you want to define the question limits.

Practically though, id suggest somewhere arround 50 macs being a realistic (but nowhere near absolute) practical limit.

  • He didn’t specify whether they would all be connected to the same network. He also didn’t say the NIC needs to be physical. :D
    – Daniel B
    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:34
  • Yup. I know. I think my answer covers the various possibilities his question could imply. There were hints in his post that 1 nic with many macs at different times were out-of-scope though.
    – davidgo
    Apr 30, 2016 at 12:48

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