Hexadecimal is a numbering system that uses sixteen symbols. The hexadecimal number system uses the same symbols as decimal (0-9), but because we humans count in decimal, we don't have symbols behond 9, so we switch to letters and keep going till we hit fifteen (A, B, C, D, E, F). When we hit fifteen (F) we flip over and add one to the next column.

    For example:


    Hexadecimal and the Nybble

    You can represent one hexadecimal value with four binary bits. Four bits make a nybble and two nybbles make a byte. Therefore it takes two hexadecimal numbers to represent the value of one byte. Once you understand that eight bits make a byte, this makes sense.

    Media Access Control (MAC) addresses are six bytes long and are written in hexadecimal. Here's an example of a MAC address written in hexadecimal and in binary. They both equal the same value, they are just represented using different symbols.

    HEXADECIMAL 00 50 8d 51 4C 28
    BINARY 00000000 01010000 10001101 01010001 01001100 00101000


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