IP Terminology

IPv4 Addressing

In the TCP/IP protocol, IPv4 addresses are used to define the address of each node in the network. It is a numeric address used to identify each node uniquely on the network. It is a software address designed to allow nodes to communicate with each other regardless of their location and network. Now, let us discuss the basic terminology of the Internet protocol in the following section.

IP Terminology

Some of the most commonly used terms in the Internet protocol addressing are explained below:

Bit: A bit consists of one digit. It can be either 1 or 0.

Byte: A byte consists of 8 digits.

Octet: An octet is composed of 8 binary digit numbers. The term byte and octet are interchangeably used.

Network Address: A network address is used to send packets to the remote network using a routing scheme. 12.0.0.0 and 192.168.0.0 are the examples of a network address.

Broadcast Address: A broadcast address is used to send information to all the nodes on a network. For example, 255.255.255.255 is used to send a packet on all nodes in any network; 192.168.255.255 is used to send a packet to all subnets and hosts on network 192.168.0.0; and 10.255.255.255 are used to send packets to all subnets and hosts on network 10.0.0.0.

Public and Private IP address: Public network is a type of network which can be accessed over the Internet. In a public network, public IP address is assigned which is used to connect to the Internet or other network. The public IP address is used to access any node which are in the public network. Private network is a type of network in which a private IP address is assigned to users without exposing them directly to the Internet. Private networks are usually owned by individuals and certain rules and restriction are specified in it. Further, private IP address is used to access any node that exists in a private network.

Default gateway: A default gateway is a node in a computer network that is used as a forwarding host to other network when the destination IP address does not matches with any other route in the network. The main purpose of default gateway is to allow a computer on a particular network to have communication with another computer that exists on some other network. In other words a default gateway acts as an access point of communication in between two or more computer networks. Further, default gateway can be viewed by typing the command ipconfig in the command prompt.

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