IP address

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IP Address Basics and Versions
– IP address serves two main functions: network interface identification and location addressing.
– It identifies the host’s network interface and provides the location of the host in the network.
– The IP address is included in the header of each IP packet.
– A name indicates what is sought, an address indicates where it is, and a route indicates how to get there.
– IP address enables the establishment of a path to the host.
– Two versions of the Internet Protocol are in common use: IPv4 and IPv6.
– IPv4, deployed in 1983, has a 32-bit address space and is still widely used.
– IPv6, standardized in 1998, uses a 128-bit address space and was introduced to address the depletion of IPv4 addresses.
– IPv6 deployment began in the mid-2000s.
– Both versions define addresses differently and have simultaneous use.

IPv4 Addressing and Subnetting
– IPv4 addresses are represented in dot-decimal notation, consisting of four decimal numbers separated by dots.
– Each part represents an octet, a group of 8 bits, in the address.
– IPv4 addresses have a total of 32 bits, limiting the address space to 4,294,967,296 addresses.
– Some addresses are reserved for special purposes such as private networks and multicast addressing.
– IPv4 addresses can be presented in hexadecimal, octal, or binary representations.
– In the early stages, the network number was the highest order octet, limiting the number of networks to 256.
– Classful network architecture was introduced in 1981 to allow more individual network assignments and subnetwork design.
– Classful addressing had three classes (A, B, and C) with different network identifier sizes.
– Classful network design lacked scalability and was replaced by Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) in 1993.
– CIDR allows allocation and routing based on arbitrary-length prefixes.
– Initially, IP addresses were intended to be globally unique, but private networks developed, leading to the conservation of public address space.
– Private networks, not connected to the Internet, do not require globally unique IP addresses.
– Private addresses are widely used and connect to the Internet using network address translation (NAT) when needed.
– Three non-overlapping ranges of IPv4 addresses are reserved for private networks.
– Private networks enable communication between devices via TCP/IP without the need for globally unique IP addresses.

IPv6 Addressing
– IPv6 address size increased from 32 bits in IPv4 to 128 bits, providing approximately 3.403×10^38 addresses.
– IPv6 redesigns routing in the Internet, allowing more efficient aggregation of subnetwork routing prefixes.
– Smallest possible individual allocation in IPv6 is a subnet for 2 hosts, which is the square of the size of the entire IPv4 Internet.
– IPv6 allows separation of addressing infrastructure from the routing prefix used for external network traffic.
– IPv6 eliminates the need for complex address conservation methods used in CIDR.
– IPv6 reserves a block of addresses called unique local addresses (ULAs) for private networks.
– Routing prefix fc00::/7 is reserved for the ULA block.
– ULAs include a pseudorandom number to minimize the risk of address collisions.
– The deprecated site-local addresses (fec0::) caused routing ambiguities and should not be used.
– Link-local addresses (fe80::) are assigned to interfaces for communication on the attached link.

IP Address Assignment and Management
– IP addresses can be assigned dynamically or persistently (statically).
– Dynamic IP addresses are assigned using DHCP, which avoids the administrative burden of assigning specific addresses.
– DHCP lease assigns an address to a host with an expiration period.
– DHCP can be configured to allocate specific IP addresses based on MAC address.
– Bootstrap Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol are alternative methods for dynamic IP address assignment.
– Sticky IP addresses seldom change and are usually assigned by DHCP or prefix delegation.
– ISPs may provide a stable configuration for home or small-office setups.
– Sticky configurations should not be confused with static configurations, which are used indefinitely.
– Sticky IPv4 configurations may be provided by local DHCP servers.
– Sticky IPv6 prefix delegation gives clients the option to use sticky IPv6 addresses.
– Link-local addressing for IPv4 networks uses the block 169.254.0.0/16.
– In IPv6, every interface receives a link-local address in the block fe80::/10.
– Link-local addresses are only valid on the local network segment and cannot be routed on the Internet.
Microsoft developed Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) for IPv4 address autoconfiguration.
– APIPA became a de facto standard and was later formalized by the IETF.
– IP address conflict occurs when two devices on the same network claim the same IP address.
– Conflicts can result in loss of IP functionality for one or both devices.
– Modern operating systems notify administrators of IP address conflicts.
– Multiple people and systems with differing methods of IP address assignment can cause conflicts.
– If the conflicting device is the default gateway, all devices on the network may be impaired.

IP Address Classification and Network Techniques
– IP addresses are classified into several classes: unicast, multicast, anycast, and broadcast addressing.
– Unicast addressing refers to a single sender or receiver and can be used for both sending and receiving.
– Broadcast addressing allows data to be sent to all possible destinations on a network in one transmission.
– Multicast addressing is associated with a group of interested receivers and allows for the sending of a single datagram to multiple recipients.
– Anycast addressing is a one-to-many routing topology where data is transmitted to the closest receiver in the network.
– Unicast addressing is used for sending data to a single device or host.
– Broadcast addressing allows data to be sent to all devices on a network.
– Multicast addressing is used to send data to a group of interested receivers.
– Anycast addressing routes data  Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
IP address (noun)
the numeric address of a computer on the Internet
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