In traditional IP addressing, networks are categorized into different classes based on the number of bits used to define the network and host portions of the IP address. The network classes include Class A, Class B, and Class C networks, along with Class D and Class E, which are reserved for special purposes. Here's a breakdown of each network class:
- Range: 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52
- Default subnet mask: 255.0.0.0 (/8)
- Network ID occupies the first octet, and the remaining three octets are used for host addresses.
- Supports a large number of hosts per network (up to 16,777,214 hosts).
- Typically used by large organizations or internet service providers (ISPs).
- Range: 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11
- Default subnet mask: 255.255.0.0 (/16)
- Network ID occupies the first two octets, and the remaining two octets are used for host addresses.
- Supports a moderate number of hosts per network (up to 65,534 hosts).
- Often used by medium-sized organizations or institutions.
- Range: 192.0.0.0 to 18.104.22.168
- Default subnet mask: 255.255.255.0 (/24)
- Network ID occupies the first three octets, and the last octet is used for host addresses.
- Supports a small number of hosts per network (up to 254 hosts).
- Commonly used by small businesses or home networks.
- Range: 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199
- Reserved for multicast addresses, used for one-to-many or many-to-many communication.
- Multicast addresses are not assigned to individual devices but rather to groups of devices interested in receiving specific data.
- Range: 240.0.0.0 to 255.255.255.255
- Reserved for experimental purposes and future use.
It's worth noting that with the introduction of Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR), the strict division between classes has become less significant. CIDR allows for variable-length subnet masks, enabling more efficient use of IP address space and more flexible network design.
Please note that the information provided above is based on the traditional IP addressing scheme and does not consider newer technologies, such as IPv6, which operates on a different addressing structure.
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