The Internet Protocol (IP) is a fundamental protocol in the Intenet. An IP address is a unique number to identify a computer or any other device on the Internet. It allows a device to communicate with other devices over an IP-based network like the Internet. IPv4 and IPv6 are the two versions of IP addresses used on the Internet.
The original IPv4 protocol is used on both the Internet and many corporate networks. These are actually 32-bit binary numbers with two subaddresses. IPv4 is composed of two parts in which the first numbers specify the network part and the latter number specify the specific host. There are five classes of available IP ranges in IPv4 which are mentioned below.
IPv6 is the newer version of the IP protocol. It uses 128-bit addresses of data to store an address. The size of IPv6’s address space is 340 Duodecillion which is much larger than IPv4.
TCP/IP defines five classes of IP in IPv4 addresses. Each class has a range of valid IP addresses. The following are the five classes of IP addresses
Class A IPs are ranging from 126.96.36.199 to 127.0.0.0. But 127.0.0.0 is used as a loopback address so the range is considered up to 188.8.131.52. Basically, it is used for LAN purposes. The default subnet mask of Class A is 255.0.0.0. It is nothing but Class A can have 126 networks and 16777214 hosts.
Class B IPs are ranging from 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11. Class B IPs are used for MAN purposes. Class B can have 65534 hosts. The default subnet mask of class B is 255.255.0.0. Out of 32 bits, 16 bits are used as network bits and the remaining 16 are used as host bits.
Class C IPs are ranging from 192.0.0.1 to 18.104.22.168. It is used for WAN purposes. The default subnet mask is 255.255.255.0 that means Class C can have 254 hosts. Out of 32 bits, 24 bits are considered as network bits and 8 bits are used as host bits.
Class D IP ranges between 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199. Class D does not have the subnet mask. It is reserved for multicasting purposes.
Class E IP ranges from 240.0.0.1 to 255.255.255.254. The class E also does not have the subnet mask and it is used for the research and development purposes.