Class A Blocks
A class A address block was designed to support extremely large networks with more than 16 million host addresses. Class A IPv4 addresses used a fixed /8 prefix with the first octet to indicate the network address. The remaining three octets were used for host addresses.
The first bit of a Class A address is always 0. With that first bit a 0, the lowest number that can be represented is 00000000, decimal 0. The highest number that can be represented is 01111111, decimal 127. The numbers 0 and 127 are reserved and cannot be used as network addresses. Any address that starts with a value between 1 and 126 in the first octet is a Class A address.
No. of Class A Network: 27
No. of Usable Host address per Network: 224-2 (Minus 2 because 2 addresses are reserved for network and broadcast address)
Class B Blocks
Class B address space was designed to support the needs of moderate to large size networks with more than 65,000 hosts. A class B IP address used the two high-order octets to indicate the network address. The other two octets specified host addresses. As with class A, address space for the remaining address classes needed to be reserved.
The first two bits of the first octet of a Class B address are always 10. The remaining six bits may be populated with either 1s or 0s. Therefore, the lowest number that can be represented with a Class B address is 10000000, decimal 128. The highest number that can be represented is 10111111, decimal 191. Any address that starts with a value in the range of 128 to 191 in the first octet is a Class B address.
No of Class B Network: 214
No. of Usable Host address per Network: 216-2
Class C Blocks
The class C address space was the most commonly available of the historic address classes. This address space was intended to provide addresses for small networks with a maximum of 254 hosts. Class C address blocks used a /24 prefix. This meant that a class C network used only the last octet as host addresses with the three high-order octets used to indicate the network address.
A Class C address begins with binary 110. Therefore, the lowest number that can be represented is 11000000, decimal 192. The highest number that can be represented is 11011111, decimal 223. If an address contains a number in the range of 192 to 223 in the first octet, it is a Class C address.
No of Class C Network: 221
No. of Usable Host address per Network: 28-2
Class D Blocks
The Class D address class was created to enable multicasting in an IP address. A multicast address is a unique network address that directs packets with that destination address to predefined groups of IP addresses. Therefore, a single station can simultaneously transmit a single stream of data to multiple recipients.
The Class D address space, much like the other address spaces, is mathematically constrained. The first four bits of a Class D address must be 1110. Therefore, the first octet range for Class D addresses is 11100000 to 11101111, or 224 to 239. An IP address that starts with a value in the range of 224 to 239 in the first octet is a Class D address.
Class E Block
A Class E address has been defined. However, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) reserves these addresses for its own research. Therefore, no Class E addresses have been released for use in the Internet. The first four bits of a Class E address are always set to 1s. Therefore, the first octet range for Class E addresses is 11110000 to 11111111, or 240 to 255.
Every IP address also has two parts. The first part identifies the network (Network ID) where the system is connected and the second part identifies the system (Host ID).
Within the address range of each IPv4 network, we have three types of addresses:
- Network address - The address by which we refer to the network
- Broadcast address - A special address used to send data to all hosts in the network
- Host addresses - The addresses assigned to the end devices in the network