HowTo: Find Out Router Mac Address

How do I display or find out the MAC address for my small home / business router?

MAC is acronym for Media Access Control address. It is a unique identifier attached to almost most all networking equipment such as Routers, Ethernet cards, Switches/Hubs and other devices. If you do not have access to router admin interface (via telnet or webbased gui), use the following method to find out router MAC address.

arp Command

You need to use the arp command (available on both Windows, Linux/Unixish systems). arp command manipulates the kernel’s ARP cache in various ways. The primary options are clearing an address mapping entry and manually setting up one. For debugging purposes, the arp program also allows a complete dump of the ARP cache. arp shows the entries of the specified hosts. If the hostname parameter is not used, all entries will be displayed.

Task: Find Out Router Mac Address Under Linux / Mac OS X / Unix Like Operating Systems

First, find out your default router (gateway IP address), enter:
$ /sbin/route
Sample outputs:

Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface      *      UH    0      0        0 ppp0 UGH   0      0        0 eth0     *        U     0      0        0 eth0        *            U     0      0        0 ppp0
default         UG    0      0        0 eth0

The default router IP is Send ICMP ECHO_REQUEST (ping request) to route IP, enter:
$ ping -c 4
Type the following command to find out your router MAC address. enter:
$ /usr/sbin/arp -a
$ arp -a
Sample outputs:

router ( at 00:08:5C:00:00:01 [ether] on eth0
fbsd6 ( at 00:0F:EA:91:04:07 [ether] on eth0

In above example 00:08:5C:00:00:01 is MAC address for router.

A Note About telnet / ssh Access

On most router remote management via telnet / ssh is off by default. If router remote management is turned on, type the following command to login into router via telnet or ssh command (telnet command works under MS-Windows oses too):
$ telnet
$ ssh user@
Sample output:

Welcome to SXI LLC Router!
Login: admin

Once logged in type the ifconfig command, enter:
$ ifconfig br0

        Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:08:5C:00:00:01
        inet addr:   Bcast:  Mask:
        RX packets:48574 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
        TX packets:61329 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
        collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
        RX bytes:9146189 (8.7 MiB)  TX bytes:74456679 (71.0 MiB)

Please note that interface name (br0) may be different on your router. Use ifconfig -a command to find out interface names.

A Note About WebGUI

Almost all modern routers can be configured via browser based web administration GUI. You can access this interface by accessing the IP address (which by default will be or unless you have changed it. You may refer to the manual of your router to know the default IP address) of the router on a web browser. In our example, is router IP. First, type in a browser. The router login screen appears. You need to supply the username (in most cases it is admin), and the password. The router logs you in. Click on Status tab (or similar option in your web gui):

Fig.01: Find Router Mac Address

Another example from my linksys router, that is directly connected to the Internet via high speed ADSL2+ connection:

Fig.02: Linksys router mac address (WAN interface)

Task: Find Out Mac Address Under MS-Windows XP/NT/2003/7/Vista

If you are using Microsoft Windows XP/7/Vista (or 2003/2008 server edition) then you need to open MS-DOS shell prompt first. Click on Start > Run > Type cmd command followed by ENTER key. At C:> prompt, type arp -a command as follows. This command is available only if the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol is installed as a component in the properties of a network adapter in Network Connections:
arp -a

Page last updated at 6:55 PM, April 11, 2012.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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