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An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a rational numeric address that is allocated to every single computer and computer device that is a member of a Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)-based network.
The IP address is the main element on which the networking architecture is made; no network occurs without it. An IP address is a relevant address that is used to distinctively classify every node in the network. Because IP addresses are relevant, they can alter.
They are like addresses in a city because the IP address provides the network node a location so that it can connect with other nodes or networks, just like a mail is sent to friends.
Parts of an IP Address
The numbers in an IP address are broken down into 2 parts:
- The network part indicates which networks the address pertains to and
- The host part identifies the specific location.
An IP Address is the most essential and crucial element in the networking development that connects the World Wide Web together. The IP address is a numeric address designated to every single instance that is connected to any computer communication network using the TCP/IP communication procedures.
Standards for IP Address
There are 2 standards for IP addresses:
- IP Version 4 (IPv4) – composed of 4 sets of numbers from 0 to 255, divided by 3 dots. There are 28X4 probable IPv4 addresses. There are 3 classes of IPv4 address sets that can be recorded through the Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC):
- Class C – composed of 256 IP addresses (123.123.123.xxx, where xxx is from 0 to 255)
- Class B – composed of 65,536 IP addresses (123.123.xxx.xxx)
- Class A – composed of 16,777,216 IP addresses (123.xxx.xxx.xxx)
- IP Version 6 (IPv6) – composed of 8 sets of 4 hexadecimal digits, divided by colons. There are 3.4 x 1038 probable IPv6 addresses.
Static vs. Dynamic IP Address
- Static IP address – will never vary and it is a perpetual internet address.
- Dynamic IP address – is a provisional address that is allocated each time a computer or device connects to the internet.
The Media Access Control (MAC) address is a binary number used to distinctively specify computer network adapters. These numbers, also known as hardware addresses or physical addresses, are installed into the network hardware during the manufacturing process, or saved in firmware and intended not to be altered.
Some refer to them as Ethernet addresses, but Wi-Fi and Bluetooth networks also make use of MAC addressing.
Format of a MAC Address
Conventional MAC addresses are composed of 12-digit hexadecimal numbers and are usually written as follows:
They are 48 bits or 6 bytes.
Prefix refers to the first 6 digits or first 24 bits and is identified with the adapter manufacturer. Each vendor registers and acquires MAC prefixes as allocated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Vendors often obtain many prefix numbers identified with their different products.
The last 6 digits of a MAC address serve as an identification number for the specific device. For devices made with the same vendor prefix, each is assigned with their own specific 24-bit number. Hardware from different vendors may turn out to share the same device section of the address.
Some kinds of networks require 64-bit addresses like the Zigbee wireless home automation.
MAC vs. IP Address Relationship
TCP/IP networks use both MAC and IP addresses but for different purposes.
|MAC Address||IP Address|
|Fixed to the device’s hardware||Can be altered depending on the device’s TCP/IP network configuration|
|Works at Layer 2 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI)||Works at Layer 3 of the OSI|