I am using a wireless network created from Linksys WRT54G.

  1. From (the web for configuring WRT54G), I saw an MAC Address:

  2. From the bottom of the WRT54G device, I saw a different MAC Address:

  3. From output of iwconfig for wlan0, I saw yet another different one (is it also a MAC address?):

    Access Point:   xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:21 

    The whole output of iwconfig is

    $ iwconfig
    eth0      no wireless extensions.
    wlan0     IEEE 802.11abg  ESSID:"xxxxx"  
              Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.437 GHz  Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:21   
              Bit Rate=54 Mb/s   Tx-Power=15 dBm   
              Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
              Power Management:off
              Link Quality=70/70  Signal level=-39 dBm  
              Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
              Tx excessive retries:12  Invalid misc:3955   Missed beacon:0
    lo        no wireless extensions.

All the first three are almost the same, except the last field.

Why does WRT54G have three different MAC addresses? Are they for different components of WRT54G? Thanks.

  1. In the output of ifconfig, are "HWaddr" for some components of router, or for my computer's network adapters?

    $ ifconfig
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:50  
              UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
              RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
              Interrupt:20 Memory:fc600000-fc620000 
    lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
              inet addr:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
              UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1
              RX packets:15183 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:15183 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
              RX bytes:1619156 (1.6 MB)  TX bytes:1619156 (1.6 MB)
    wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:34  
              inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
              inet6 addr: fe80::226:c6ff:fe3e:3034/64 Scope:Link
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:2159714 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:1624911 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
              RX bytes:2508182583 (2.5 GB)  TX bytes:240222074 (240.2 MB)
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A typical consumer router has three different network interfaces:

  1. WAN
  2. LAN
  3. Wireless LAN

Each of these interface has its own MAC address.

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  • Thanks. I added the output of ifconfig. In its output, are "HWaddr" for some components of router, or for my computer's network adapters? – Tim Apr 17 '15 at 16:33
  • @Tim, Everything shown is from the router. If you want to see MAC addresses of your computer(s) from the router, try running arp -a – heavyd Apr 17 '15 at 16:34
  • What do "HWaddr" in the output of ifconfig mean? They are different from the three I mentioned at first. – Tim Apr 17 '15 at 16:38
  • OK... hold on. Where are you running ifconfig and iwconfig, on the router or your computer (I originally assumed the router, but I'm now thinking not)? Those commands will show the details for the machine they're running on. The "Access Point" field in the output of iwconfig is the MAC of the Access Point/Router the machine is connected to. And "HWaddr" is the MAC address. – heavyd Apr 17 '15 at 16:43
  • I ran them on my computer. Whose MAC address is "HWaddr" for? – Tim Apr 17 '15 at 16:44

Every network interface has its own MAC-address. I don't know much about linksys routers but, I'm assuming you just have three interfaces, which isn't unlikely for routers. These would be:

  • Internal interface: You probably have some ethernet port on the back panel. These are just part of a switch, which is then connected to router internally. This internal inerface has to have a MAC-address as well.

  • Internet port interface, the port where you connect your cable or DSL Internet connection.

  • Wireless interface

Again, I don't really know much about linksys hardware.

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1 Base MAC Address + 1 MAC address per interface

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  • 1
    Thanks. What differences are between "base Mac addr" and "Mac addr"? – Tim Apr 17 '15 at 16:32

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