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Hardware address client

Posted on 2010-09-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-23
If we all are in the same network then why cannot we get the MAC address of the client ?. NetworkInterface.getHardwareAddress gives the machine hardware address not the client which connects to the server. Anyone with any suggestions ?
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Question by:Micheal_Male
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Expert Comment

by:geowrian
ID: 33602120
Even if you are on the same physical network, network policies and/or routing across subnets can make this (practically) impossible. As far as I'm aware, there is no "reliable" way to retrieve the MAC address of a remote network device short of having a way to send a command to a process running on the remote PC, or implementing discovery calls to the switch (i.e. via CDP for Cisco switches).

If within the same subnet and barring any network policies or configuration preventing it, you may be able to lookup the IP of the remote PC in the ARP table, then grab the MAC address from that. However, this is not guaranteed to work, and may actually give wrong information (i.e. if switching or routing is performed it may return the MAC of the switch/router).

http://my-addr.com/i/determine_mac_address_from_ip/lookup-ping-search/howto_find_remote_mac_address.php
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Author Comment

by:Micheal_Male
ID: 33602136
Good article. That gives me an idea that it is impossible to get the MAC address of the client in java even it is connected on the same network. The only way is to run the Process Runtime.exec() command and give arp as a parameter and then compare the client ip with the ip we got from running the arp command in java and then parse the mac address.
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Accepted Solution

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chataros earned 250 total points
ID: 33609477
also if you're running on windows you can run the "nbtstat -A/a server name/IP " command and parse the output

EX:
nbtstat -a NAME
nbtstat -A IP

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Author Closing Comment

by:Micheal_Male
ID: 33610341
Thank you
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