If you’ve ever tried to modify some of your router’s settings (at least your wi-fi network name and/or password), you’ve probably come across an IP address that looks similar to the one in the headline. Something with the prefix 192.168.1… To access the settings, you had to type this address into your browser. A network address or network ID is another name for this address.
Perhaps you’re wondering what a network ID is. What is the significance of 192.168.1.0, and why do we require it? That is, after all, why we are here: to answer all of your inquiries. However, before we get to the subject, let’s go over some fundamentals.
IP Addressing Fundamentals
An IP address is required for every device connected to a network. That is the sole way to identify and connect with a device (or a server or a website) on a network. This is your address or phone number. A unique address is required to ensure that a mail, package, or phone call is delivered to the correct location (or to the correct person) (along with your phone number).
IPv4 is a set of rules that describe how an IP address should appear and how the process of issuing IP addresses works.
Every IP address is made up of 32 bits (zeroes and ones) organised into four octets (groups of eight bits – eight zeros and ones). Routers, PCs, and other devices can see this binary form.
An IP address is a string consisting of four numbers separated by dots. It looks something like 192.168.1.1. Each number in an IP address is a range of 0-255. Why? Why? Any combination of 8 zeros or ones will result in a number between 0 to 255.
In another article, we will show you how binary numbers are converted into real numbers. For now, it’s important to know how an IP address looks like and that you can make 4.3 billion addresses with 32 bits. This may seem like a lot but when you consider how many devices are connected to the internet (which exceeds 10 billion), it becomes apparent that there is not enough IPv4 addresses.
Private and public Addresses
Private and public addresses have allowed us unlimited access to certain addresses. Public and private addresses are different in that they can be accessed via the internet.
Private addresses can only be used within LAN networks. Private IP addresses are useful because they can be reused on any network. They can only be used within a single network. So, the device that you’re using to read this article will have a private IP address (192.168.1.16, for example) and only this device of all the devices connected to your home wi-fi will have that address. However, your neighbor might have his own wi-fi network which is a separate, LAN network. This address could be assigned to his computer, laptop, phone or any other device. As long as you and your neighbor are connected to two separate LANs, there’ll be no problem. The same goes for every neighbor on your street, each citizen of your state, and every LAN network around the globe. One device could exist on every LAN around the globe using the exact same IP address.
The five classes that comprise all IP addresses around the globe are A to E. There are blocks with private addresses in the first three classes.
Dynamic and static addresses
In addition to public and private addresses, we have another division that allows us to reuse particular IP addresses. They can be static or dynamic, just as IP addresses can be private or public. Both static and dynamic addresses are possible for both private and public addresses (but not at the same time). Static addresses are fixed addresses that are always assigned to the same device. Dynamic addresses can be changed; DHCP servers assign (lease) them to devices. When dynamic addresses are not in use, DHCP servers can take them back and assign them to other devices.
Subnetting is the most difficult phrase to explain and learn, yet it’s critical for understanding the function of 192.168.1.0 and network addresses (network IDs) in general.
An IP address is assigned to every device connected to a network. A Subnet Mask is also assigned to each device. This subnet mask (for example, 255.255.255.0) has the same format as an IP address. The subnet mask is crucial for our routers because it determines the network and the unique host that will receive inbound packets. The router divides the IP address into two pieces – one that describes the network and the other that defines the host – using the subnet mask.
As mentioned in the first section, each IP address is 32 bits long (32 zeros and 32 ones). The host and network information is contained in the subnet mask. It specifies the number of bits in an IP address that define the network and the number of bits that determine the host. The subnet mask is defined by all 1s, while the host is defined by all 0.
Take, for example, the previously specified subnet mask 255.255.255.0. By the way, this is the default subnet mask for all 192.168.1.x addresses. So, to make things clearer, let’s take one of the addresses from this range. Consider the address 192.168.1.15. The subnet mask tells us that the first three bits (24 bits) of an IP address indicate the network, while the next eight bits represent the host.
The first three numbers (24 bits each) in an address 192.168.1.15 represent the network and the number 15 the host.
Instead of writing 192.168.1.15/24, you may write it like this: 192.168.1.15/24. 24 is the number of bits in an IP address that relates to the network (it’s the number of 1s in the subnet mask).
The number that follows an IP address and represents the subnet is known as CIDR (Classless Internet-Domain Routing). The number following the IP address no longer has to be just 24. You can have any number between 22 and 30 (in this case, 22 and 30). To put it another way, your subnet mask does not have to be 255.255.255.0 — the number of 1s in the subnet mask does not have to be 24.
Different sorts of masks can be used to build subnets. These subnets can have more or fewer hosts and can be larger or smaller. Let me illustrate this with an example.
Assume we have an IP address of 192.168.1.1 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. As previously stated, you can type 192.168.1.1/24 into this form. What data do we have on the number and kind of subnets, as well as the number of hosts per subnet based on address and subnet mask?
The first three numbers, which are the initial octets, or 24 bits, define the network. The last number, which is the last 8 bits, determines the host. We also know that the last number of an IP address can be any value between 0 and 255.
Do we now have a total of 256 potential host addresses? Well, no. The trouble is, you need two dedicated addresses for each subnet: one for the network (Network address or Network ID) and one for broadcasting (used to broadcast to all the hosts on the network). By default, the Network address is the first subnet IP address. The last address is the Broadcast address.
You can create larger or smaller subnets, as we have discussed. To do this, assign a different mask for your IP address. Let’s see what happens if our subnet mask uses 25 bits. If the network is defined by 25 bits, 7 bits are used to refer to the host. 27 combinations of seven 0s or 1s are possible (127). However, Network ID and Broadcasting reserve the first address and last address. You now have 126 addresses that are available for hosts to assign. But you don’t have just one subnet – you have two. If the address is 192.168.1.x/25 then the first subnet uses the network address (192.168.1.128 as the Broadcast address) The broadcast address for the second subnet is 192.168.1.229 and the network address is 192.168.1.129. All addresses between broadcast and network addresses are hosts.
Even 30 bits can be used to define the network, while only 2 bits are used for host addresses. We have 64 subnets, 4 addresses per subnet, and two hosts.
As you can see, no matter what subnet mask you use for our 192.168.1.x adress, 192.168.1.0 is the network ID (network addresses) for the first subnet. But what’s the point of a network address? Why do we need a unique address for our network? Let’s find out in the next chapter…
As a Network Address, use 192.168.1.0
Without the network address, your router wouldn’t know where to send the incoming data. It wouldn’t know where the destination host is. Your router must first determine the correct network and then locate the right host on that network.
The router can be thought of as a postman. The postman must deliver every letter or package to the right place, and the router must also deliver all data packets to the correct host. The postman must have a street name as well as a street address in order to deliver the letter. A router needs both a host and network address. So the street name can be thought of as a network ID (network address), and the street number as a host address.
Data packets with a destination IP address, subnet mask, and subnet mask are received by routers. Let’s pretend that our router has to deliver a data packet to the 192.168.1.4/24 host. We know right away that the correct network address is 192.168.1.0, and that the last number in the address identifies our host, based on what we’ve learned. Subnet masks and addresses are compared in binary format by the router. Our host is located after the router identifies the target IP and subnet mask.
So, if our router didn’t have the IP from our title (192.168.1.0), it wouldn’t know how to get the correct host (in this example, 192.168.1.4). The address in the title is the network address of any 192.168.1.x network’s first subnet (regardless the subnet mask).