An IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. It serves as a unique identifier for a device on the network and allows for the exchange of data between devices.
An IP address consists of a series of four numbers separated by periods, each representing a byte. For example, 192.168.1.1 is a valid IP address. The first three numbers (192.168.1) represent the network address, while the last number (1) represents the host address within that network.
IP addresses are divided into different classes based on the number of networks and hosts they can support. The most common classes are Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A addresses have a large number of networks and a small number of hosts, while Class C addresses have a small number of networks and a large number of hosts.
IP addresses can be assigned to devices statically or dynamically. Static IP addresses are manually assigned to devices and do not change. Dynamic IP addresses are assigned to devices by a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server and can change over time.
Subnetting is the process of dividing a network into smaller, more manageable networks. This is done by creating subnetworks, which are smaller networks within a larger network. Subnetting allows for more efficient use of IP addresses and can improve network performance.