Understanding IP Addressing

Understanding IP addressing is critical to understanding how IP works. An IP address is a numeric identifier assigned to each device on an IP network. This type of address is a logical software address that designates the device’s location on the network. It isn’t the physical hardware address hard-coded in the device’s network interface card.

In the following sections, you will see how IP addresses are used to uniquely identify every machine on a network.


We’ll assume you’re comfortable with binary notation and math for the remainder of this discussion.

The Hierarchical IP Addressing Scheme

An IP address consists ...

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