I recently found out that lots of different types of devices have a MAC address not just ethernet devices. I was thinking that it is possible for Internet protocol to run over many other types of technologies besides ethernet layer.

Are there scenarios where other technologies besides ethernet are more practical or efficient or reccomended to use for communication of INTERNET protocol (like connecting through the internet) ?

  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 7, 2017 at 21:38
  • The King of the LAN protocol is not ethernet. Wi-Fi, which has dethroned ethernet. There are more devices shipping with Wi-Fi interface than with ethernet interfaces.
    – Ron Maupin
    Feb 18, 2019 at 1:18

2 Answers 2


As mentioned in your question about Bluetooth, IP can run over a wide range of underlying transport technologies - many of which are quite dissimilar to Ethernet.

There are a bunch of easy legacy examples - mapping Ethernet across point-to-point links via PPP or HDLC doesn't require a notion of MAC addressing. Similarly on multi-point media types like ATM, Frame Relay or X.25 there are mechanisms to directly map IP adjacencies over PVC / DLCI. In modern terms technologies like IPoWDM allow for a given IP adjacency to be mapped directly to a WDM lambda.

So, yes, there are absolutely situations where the above transports have been more practical on a legacy basis and are arguably superior for certain roles on an ongoing basis (mostly IPoWDM). Ethernet has become overwhelmingly common but it is by no means universal.


In addition to the examples given by @mxrx, probably the most common one in use today is Wi-Fi, 802.11.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.