An IP address is:
192.168.1.10 / 255.255.255.0
The Wildcard Address indicates the absence of an address.
It's used mostly as the target of bind, which allows a server to accept a client connection on any interface, in case the server host has multiple interfaces.
It's also known as:
- the anylocal
- the Unspecified address.
- never be assigned to any node.
- not be used as the destination address of an IP packet.
The Loopback Addresses is the address assigned to the loopback interface.
Anything sent to this IP address loops around and becomes IP input on the local host.
This address is often used when testing a client.
A multicast address is an identifier for a set of interfaces (typically belonging to different nodes).
A packet sent to a multicast address is delivered to all interfaces identified by that address.
An IP address is comprised of:
- and a mask
All hosts on a subnetwork have the same mask (ie network prefix), unlike the host identifier which is a unique local identification.
There are 2 version:
The main difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is the number of bytes and therefore the number of possible ip addresses. IPv6 was introduced in 1995 to ensure that the world would not run out anytime soon of IP number.
Public IP are global addresses that are unique across the internet.
See What is a public IP?.
The devices that do not require public access may be assigned a private IP address and make it uniquely identifiable within one organization.
For example, a network printer may be assigned a private IP address to prevent rest of the world from printing from it.
You can query a whois database to see the owner of an IP address.
Reference / Architecture
The IP address architecture is defined by: