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How to Calculate MAC Address to Binary

To convert a MAC (Media Access Control) address to binary, you need to convert each hexadecimal character in the MAC address to its binary equivalent. A MAC address is typically represented in hexadecimal format, consisting of 12 characters (usually separated by colons or hyphens), like this: 1A:2B:3C:4D:5E:6F or 1A-2B-3C-4D-5E-6F.

Each hexadecimal character corresponds to 4 binary digits (bits), since hexadecimal is a base-16 system and binary is base-2. Here’s how you convert it:

Step-by-Step Conversion

  1. Write Down the MAC Address: For example, 1A:2B:3C:4D:5E:6F.
  2. Remove Separators: Ignore the colons or hyphens. You get 1A2B3C4D5E6F.
  3. Convert Each Hexadecimal Character to Binary:
    • The hexadecimal digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F.
    • The binary equivalents are:
      • 0 in hex = 0000 in binary
      • 1 in hex = 0001 in binary
      • 2 in hex = 0010 in binary
      • 3 in hex = 0011 in binary
      • 4 in hex = 0100 in binary
      • 5 in hex = 0101 in binary
      • 6 in hex = 0110 in binary
      • 7 in hex = 0111 in binary
      • 8 in hex = 1000 in binary
      • 9 in hex = 1001 in binary
      • A in hex = 1010 in binary
      • B in hex = 1011 in binary
      • C in hex = 1100 in binary
      • D in hex = 1101 in binary
      • E in hex = 1110 in binary
      • F in hex = 1111 in binary
  4. Convert Each Character: Apply the conversion to each character of the MAC address:
    • For 1A2B3C4D5E6F, you would convert as follows:
      • 1 = 0001
      • A = 1010
      • 2 = 0010
      • B = 1011
      • 3 = 0011
      • C = 1100
      • 4 = 0100
      • D = 1101
      • 5 = 0101
      • E = 1110
      • 6 = 0110
      • F = 1111
  5. Combine the Binary Groups: Put all the binary groups together to get the binary representation of the MAC address. For 1A2B3C4D5E6F, it would be 0001101010100010101111001100010011010101111001101111.

Example

Converting 1A:2B:3C:4D:5E:6F to binary:

1A:2B:3C:4D:5E:6F
= 0001 1010 0010 1011 0011 1100 0100 1101 0101 1110 0110 1111
= 0001101010100010101111001100010011010101111001101111 (as a continuous string)

Things to Note

By following these steps, you can convert any MAC address to its binary equivalent.

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