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What is IP address? – explained in details

What is IP address?

An Internet Protocol is usually a numerical label assigned to each network device (e.g., computer, printer, Mobile etc.) to participating in a computer network for communication. An IP address has two parts : host and network part.

There are two Types of IP address:

  1. IPv4.0- It is consist by 32 bit numbers, represented in doted decimal format.
  2. IPv6.0- Consist by 128 bit numbers, represented in hexadecimal number. separated by colons.

Details of IPv4.0

IP address 4.0 consists of 32 bits which limits the address space to 4294967296 (232) possible unique addresses. IPv4 reserves some addresses for special purposes such as private networks (~18 million addresses) or multicast addresses (~270 million addresses).

IPv4 addresses are canonically represented in dot-decimal notation, which consists of four decimal numbers. Minimum value : 00000000 = 0; Maximum 11111111 = 255

IPv4 class details:

Class A: Most significant bit of this class is 0xxxxxxx. This provide maximum Network 27 = 128. and maximum host per network 2563=16777216.

Class A IP range

Class B: Most significant bit of this class is 10xxxxxx. This provide maximum Network 64*256  = 16384. and maximum host per network 256*256  = 65,536.

Class B IP range

Class C: Most significant bit of this class is 110xxxxx. This provide maximum Network 32*256*256 = 20,97,152. and maximum host per network =256.

Class C IP range

Class D: Most significant bit of this class is 1110xxxx. This rang is used for multicast purpose. You can not assign this range in your PC.

IP range-224-2390-2550-2550-255
Class D IP range

Class E: Most significant bit of this class is 1111xxxx. This range is reserved for Research and development (R&D) purpose.

Class E IP range

Notes to remember:

  • Content all 0’s in host portion of Subnet Mask = Network or sub network address
  • Content all 1’s in host portion of Subnet Mask = Broadcast address
  • Combination of 1’s and 0’s in host portion = Valid host address

Example of one Class-B IP & Subnet Mask binary formation:


What is Private IP addresses and range in IPv4.0 :

These addresses are not routed on the Internet and thus their use need not be coordinated with an IP address registry. Such private networks typically connect to the Internet through network address translation (NAT).

Class DetailsStartEndNo. of addresses
24-bit Block (/8 prefix, 1 × A)
20-bit Block (/12 prefix, 16 × B)
16-bit Block (/16 prefix, 256 × C)
IANA-reserved private IPv4 network ranges

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