IP Addresses overview
Every computer or device that communicates over the Internet is assigned an IP address that identifies and distinguishes it from other devices on the Internet. The format of a Yale IP address is usually 130.132.xxx.xxx or 128.36.xxx.xxx. IP addresses can be different depending on what network you are on. For instance, when you connect your laptop from home, it has a different IP address than when you connect from your office or dorm room at Yale.
NIC or MAC addresses are the unique identifying number that is assigned to networking hardware when it is manufactured. These addresses are similar to a car's VIN (vehicle identification number) both that you have to know where to look to find it and it is unique to each car. This number identifies both wireless and ethernet network cards in your computer, so it is possible (even likely on a laptop) that you may need to register two network hardware addresses. The format of a NIC address is 00-00-00-00-00-00. Where you look is determined by the operating system that runs on your computer.
Together, these two addresses assist network administrators in identifying devices on a network.