difference between Virtual MAC Address and Physical MAC Address | Virtual MAC Address vs Physical MAC Address

This page compares Virtual MAC Address Vs Physical MAC Address and describes difference between Virtual MAC Address and Physical MAC Address.

Virtual MAC Address

• The virtual MAC address is associated with virtual router.
• It is IEEE 802 MAC Address which is 48 bits in size.
• It has been specified in RFC3768 and RFC5768.
• The hex format for virtual MAC address is as follows:


• Here first 3 octets are derived from IANA OUI.
• The next 2 octets i.e. 00 followed by 01 indicate address block assigned to VRRP protocol.
• {VRID} field is VRRP Virtual Router Identifier. Due to 8 bit field VRID, upto 255 VRRP routers are supported in a network.

It is associated with VRRP virtual router and ARP protocol converts IPv4 or IPv6 into virtual MAC address. The master router uses virtual MAC address as source address in all VRRP periodic messages.

VRRP-Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol

Refer VRRF protocol for more information.

Physical MAC Address

It is also 48 bits in size. It has following 6 hex digits.
Example - 00-14-2A-3F-47-D0
First 3 digits i.e. 00-14-2A represents manufacturer while
last 3 digits represents card or device specific unique number.
Refer What is MAC Address.

Networking related links

Basics of OSI and TCPIP layers
Networking Gateway
What is Router
What is an IP address
network switch
network bridge
Hub and Types of Hub
What is MAC address

What is Difference between

hub Vs switch  circuit switching Vs packet switching  firewall Vs router  HDLC Vs PPP  IGRP Vs EIGRP  router Vs bridge  switch Vs router  WLAN Vs Ethernet LAN  LAN vs WAN vs MAN 

RF and Wireless Terminologies