What is a Network Interface?

Map Of Internet 1973


A network interface is a:

interface between:

  • two pieces of equipment
  • or protocol layers (see socket)

in a computer network.


A network interface will have 1 network address such as a node Id and a port number.

For instance, one interface will have 1 IP Address with the IP protocol.



Network interfaces provide standardized functions such as:


With Windows - netsh (Netshell)


Windows GUI

Windows Network Connections


with Windows - netsh (Netshell)

netsh interface show interface
:: or for one
netsh interface show interface "interface name"
Admin State    State          Type             Interface Name
Enabled        Disconnected   Dedicated        Wifi Virtual Miniport
Enabled        Connected      Dedicated        Wifi
Enabled        Connected      Dedicated        VirtualBox Host-Only Network
Enabled        Connected      Dedicated        Loopback
Enabled        Disconnected   Dedicated        Local Area Connection
Enabled        Disconnected   Dedicated        Wifi Virtual Miniport 2


with Network - (netstat|network statistics) command-line tool

netstat -r
Interface List
 41...34 02 86 07 03 4f ......Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network) #2
 21...34 e6 d7 58 c4 af ......Intel(R) Ethernet Connection (3) I218-LM
 14...34 02 86 07 03 4b ......Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
 17...00 ff b0 8b c2 15 ......Juniper Network Connect Virtual Adapter
 16...36 02 86 07 03 4c ......Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter #4
 15...36 02 86 07 03 4b ......Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter #3
 44...0a 00 27 00 00 2c ......VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter
 45...0a 00 27 00 00 2d ......VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter #2
  1...........................Software Loopback Interface 1
 31...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter
 24...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter #2
 32...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter #4
 20...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter #5
 26...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter #6
 18...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface
 25...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter #9
 29...00 00 00 00 00 00 00 e0 Microsoft ISATAP Adapter #10


  • Linux
  • Windows: On windows, you can only show all interface. For only one, see netsh
ifconfig /all


Display the status of interfaces on the network with netstat

netstat -i


netsh interface set interface name="Local Area Connection" admin=DISABLED




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