Special IP Addresses

There are several IP addresses that are special in one way or another. These addresses are for special purposes or are to be put to special use.

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Addresses significant to every IP subnet o Network Address o Broadcast Address Addresses significant to individual hosts o Loopback Address Special Addresses of Global Significance o Private Addresses o Reserved Addresses

IP Subnets
A network address is an address where all host bits in the IP address are set to zero (0). In every subnet there is a network address. This is the first and lowest numbered address in the range because the address is always the address where all host bits are set to zero. The network address is defined in the RFC's as as the address that contains all zeroes in the host portion of the address and is used to communicate with devices that maintain the network equipment. Today it is rare to see the network address in use.

A broadcast address is an address where all host bits in the IP address are set to one (1). This address is the last address in the range of addresses, and is the address whose host portion is set to all ones. All hosts are to accept and respond to the broadcast address. This makes special services possible.

0.0.0. Class D Start 224.255.0 C 192.255.255 172. Multicast. End 239.0 B 172. and experimental purposes that cannot be used on the Internet.255 .255.0. such as the IP's used in OSPF.31.0 End 10.168.Special Use IP addresses PRIVATE IP ADDRESSES RFC 1918 defines a number of IP blocks which were set aside by the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) for use as private addresses on private networks that are not directly connected to the Internet. The private addresses are: Class Start A Multicast IP Addresses There are a number of addresses that are set aside for special purposes.

one special range of addresses is set aside for loopback functionality.255. Since the lower layers are short-circuited.0.1) The 127.0. This is primarily a means of testing the transmission or transportation infrastructure. If you ping 127. All network interface devices should respond to this address.0.255.x.1 is the address most commonly used for testing purposes .0.0. this represents a “short-circuiting” of the normal protocol stack.1. Instead.x loopback address are not passed down to the data link layer for transmission. In essence.255. or flows of items from their originating facility back to the source without intentional processing or modification. Loopback (loop-back) describes ways of routing electronic signals. 127. digital data streams. This is the range 127.0. The purpose of the loopback range is testing of the TCP/IP protocol implementation on a host. IP datagrams sent by a host to a class 'A' subnet is used for only a single address: the loopback address 127.0.0. you can be assured that the network hardware is functioning and that the network software is also functioning.0. sending to a loopback address allows the higher layers (IP and above) to be effectively tested without the chance of problems at the lower layers manifesting themselves.0.x. they “loop back” to the source device at the IP level.0 to 127.Hosts LOOPBACK ADDRESS (127. This address is used to test the local network interface device's functionality. data is sent by a device's layer three IP implementation and then immediately received by it.1.