One of the most important topics in any discussion of TCP/IP is IP addressing. An IP address is a numeric identifier assigned to each machine on an IP network. It designates the specific location of a device on the network.
An IP address is a software address, not a hardware address—the latter is hard-coded on a network interface card (NIC) and used for finding hosts on a local network. IP addressing was designed to allow hosts on one network to communicate with a host on a different network regardless of the type of LANs the hosts are participating in.
Before we get into the more complicated aspects of IP addressing, you need to understand some of the basics. First I’m going to explain some of the fundamentals of IP addressing ...