Each [[Ethernet]] network interface has a unique MAC address which is usually stored in a small memory device on the card, allowing any device to connect to the network without creating an address conflict. Ethernet MAC addresses are composed of six [[Octet (computing)|octets]]. Uniqueness is maintained by the [[Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers|IEEE]], which manages the Ethernet address space by assigning 3-octet prefixes to equipment manufacturers. The [http://standards.ieee.org/regauth/oui/oui.txt list of prefixes] is publicly available. Each manufacturer is then obliged to both use only their assigned prefix(es) and to uniquely set the 3-octet suffix of every Ethernet interface they produce.
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