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What is IP Address?

IP addresses consist of two Internet Protocols. One of them is version 4 and the other is version 6. IP version 6 is the new version.

Example of IPv4: 127.200.200.200

Example of IPv6: 2001:db8:3333:4444:5555:6666:7777:8888

Table of contents:

IP Version 4

Deployed 1983. Version 4 addresses are 32-bit integers. The format is x.x.x.x, where each x can be any value between 0 and 255. Address must be reused and masked.

IPv4 addresses are categorized into three basic types: Unicast, multicast and broadcast.

- Unicast: The process of sending a packet from one host to an individual host.
- Broadcast: The process of sending a packet from one host to all hosts in the network.
- Multicast: The process of sending a packet from one host to a selected group of hosts, possibly in different networks.

IPv4 divided into 5 classes / ranges:

Class A

Starting and ending address: 0.0.0.0 - 127.255.255.255
Total addresses: 2,147,483,648
The IP range 127.x.x.x is reserved for loopback IP addresses to local host.
Used for very large companies.

Class B

Starting and ending address: 128.0.0.0 - 191.255.255.255
Total addresses: 1,073,741,824
172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255 Used for local communications within a private network. Private addresses cannot be routed across the Internet.
Used for medium-sized companies.

Class C

Starting and ending address: 192.0.0.0 - 223.255.255.255
Total addresses: 536,870,912
192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255 Used for local communications within a private network. Private addresses cannot be routed across the Internet.
Used in small-sized companies.

Class D

Starting and ending address: 224.0.0.0 - 239.255.255.255
Total addresses: 268,435,456
They are are used for multicasting. This allows a single server to send a single stream of data to thousands of servers across the Internet at the same time. It is often used for audio / video streaming.

Class E

Starting and ending address: 240.0.0.0, 255.255.255.255
Total addresses: 268,435,456
They are also not used in the public sector, instead being reserved for scientific studies and development purposes.

IP Version 6

Deployed 1998. Version 6 addresses are 128-bit integers. The format is xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx, where each x is a hexadecimal value between 0 and FFFF, representing 4 bits. Leading zeros can be omitted. The double colon (::) can be used once in the text form of an address to designate any number of 0 bits. Every devide can have a unique address.

Format:

xxxx : xxxx : xxxx : xxxx : xxxx : xxxx : xxxx : xxxx
|      Prefix     | Subnet |        Interface        |

- Prefix: describes the public topology that is usually allocated to your site by an ISP or Regional Internet Registry (RIR).
- Subnet: Which you (Or another administrator) allocate for your site. The subnet ID describes the private topology, also known as the site topology, because it is internal to your site.
- Interface: Is either automatically configured from the interface's MAC address or manually configured in EUI-64 format.

The three types of IPv6 addresses are: Unicast, multicast and anycast.

- Unicast: Identifies an interface of an individual node. A unicast address uniquely identifies an interface on an IPv6 device. A packet sent to a unicast address is received by the interface that is assigned to that address.
- Multicast: Identifies a group of interfaces, usually on different nodes. Packets that are sent to the multicast address go to all members of the multicast group. Multicast is the technique used to send a packet from one (Or multiple) source to multiple destinations.
- Anycast: Identifies a group of interfaces, usually on different nodes. Packets that are sent to the anycast address go to the anycast group member node that is physically closest to the sender. Anycast address is an address that is assigned to more than one interface. Typically, the address belongs to different nodes. A packet that is sent to an anycast address is routed to the nearest interface that has that address.

IPv6 global addresses are similar to IPv4 public addresses. As the name implies, they are routable on the internet. Currently IANA has assigned only 2000::/3 addresses to the global pool.

IPv6 divided into 6 ranges by types:

Reserved

Starting and ending address: 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - 1FFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
::/3
The single loopback address is 0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0001 or ::1 (Shortened Version)

Global Unicast

Starting and ending address: 2000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - 3FFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
2000::/3
Similar to a public IPv4 address.
IANA IPv6 Assignments

Unique Local Unicast Addresses

Starting and ending address: FC00:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - FDFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
FC00::/7
These addresses are reserved for local use in home and enterprise environments and are not public address space. These addresses might not be unique, and there is no formal address registration. Packets with these addresses in the source or destination fields are not intended to be routed on the public Internet but are intended to be routed within the enterprise or organisation.

Link Local Unicast Addresses

Starting and ending address: FE80:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - FEBF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
FE80::/10
These addresses are used on a single link or a non-routed common access network, such as an Ethernet LAN. They do not need to be unique outside of that link. Link-local addresses may appear as the source or destination of an IPv6 packet. Routers must not forward IPv6 packets if the source or destination contains a linklocal address.

Site Local Unicast Addresses (Deprecated)

Starting and ending address: FEC0:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - FEFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
FEC0::/10
Site-local addresses are equivalent to private IP addresses in IPv4. The address space reserved for these addresses, which are only routed within an organization and not on the public Internet, is 10.0.0.0/8, 172.16.0.0/12, and 192.168.0.0/16. Site-local addresses have been deprecated, but existing implementations can still continue use them.

Multicast

Starting and ending address: FF00:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000 - FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF
FF00::/8
These addresses are used to identify multicast groups. They should only be used as destination addresses, never as source addresses.

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