5 Different Classes of IP Address Explained with Examples, Range, Uses

5 Different Classes of IP Address Explained with Examples, Range, Uses

5 Different Classes of IP Address Explained with Examples, Range, Uses

What are the different classes of IP address? What is the range of classes A, B, C, D, E?

I am explaining the use and range of each IP class in detail with examples.

Internet Protocol (IP) is a network layer, host-to-host delivery protocol. It means it delivers a packet from one host to the other with no knowledge about the ports within the host.

It is a connection-less protocol that makes it unreliable. Hence, it is often clubbed with TCP. TCP is a reliable protocol from the transport layer.

There are two versions of the IP address. These are IPv4 and IPv6.

In this article, we discuss IPv4 address space and its different classes of IP addresses.

What is the IPv4 Address?

An IP address uniquely identifies each host and router. This IP address is 32 bits long.

One of the usual IP addresses that we see.

For example, 145.10.34.3.

This address is a 32-bit address represented within the system in binary form:
10010001.00001010.00100010.00000011

An IP address format is usually divided into two parts:

  • Network ID: To uniquely identify the network to which the host belongs.
  • Host ID: To uniquely identify the host in a particular network.

Two hosts in the same network have the same network ID part but different host ID part.

You can also write a Python program to validate the IP address.

On the basis of this division, IP addresses are classified into various classes.

Different Classes of IP Address

Different Classes of IP Address

Following are the different classes of IP address:

  1. Class A
  2. Class B
  3. Class C
  4. Class D
  5. Class E

Class A

  • This Class IP address always has its first bit as 0, next 7 bits as a network address and following 24 bits as the host address.
  • The range of IP addresses is 0.0.0.0 to 127.255.255.255.
  • This means that it allows 2^7 networks and 2^24 hosts per network.
  • This class of IP address is used for a very large network. Ex. Big Organisation

Class B

  • Class B IP address always has its first bits as 10, next 14 bits as a network address and following 16 bits as the host address.
  • The range of IP addresses is 128.0.0.0 to 191.255.255.255.
  • This means that it allows 2^14 networks and 2^16 hosts per network.
  • This class of IP address is used for a medium network like multinational companies.

Class C

  • Class C IP address always has its first bits as 110, next 21 bits as a network address and following 8 bits as the host address.
  • The range of IP addresses is the first block from 192.0.0.0 to 192.0.0.255 and the last block from 223.255.255.0 to 223.255.255.255.
  • This means that it allows 2^21 networks and 2^8 hosts per network.
  • This class is used for a small network such as small companies or colleges.

Class D

  • Class D IP address always has its first bits as 1110.
  • There is no segregation of host and network addresses.
  • It allows multicast which means a datagram directed to multiple hosts.

Class E

  • The address begins with 1111.
  • It is reserved for future use, research, and development purpose.

We can use IP address classes A, B, and C for subnetting and supernetting in a computer network.

[FREE Online Tool] Find the Class of IP Address

You can use a simple online tool to find out the class of any IP address.

IP Address Classes Range:

Summarizing different classes of IP address with its range and applications:

Class IP Address Range (Theoretical) Start-Bits Application / Used for
A 0.0.0.0 to 127.255.255.255 0 Very large networks
B 128.0.0.0 to 191.255.255.255 10 Medium networks
C 192.0.0.0 to 223.255.255.255 110 Small networks
D 224.0.0.0 to 239.255.255.255 1110 Multicast
E 240.0.0.0 to 247.255.255.255 1111 Experimental

The IP address ranges for a different class in the table are theoretically calculated. There are some special IP addresses that are reserved for a special purpose.

Suppose,

IP addresses having all zero’s or one’s either in the network id or host id are ruled out from all the IP address classes. These IP addresses are used for a┬áspecial purpose.

A related article that you may like to read: How does Computer Network Work?

12 Comments

  1. Hi Aniruddha, I was reading this for my thesis on Networking. Thanks for this simple IP address classification and easy guide.

  2. So I am getting my degree in Cybersecurity and one of our discussion questions are: You are a network manager for a large organization that consists of 6000 users. You need to build a network for the entire organization.

    What IP scheme(s) will you use and why? Please provide technical details.

    So I thought Class A would be the best solution. Subnetting is also something I feel would be good to implement.

    References to websites or perspectives would be great.

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