IP Address Lookup
Internet protocol (IP) addresses are the unique identifier for every electronic device. Where a person has a little card with a unique number identifying them (their driver’s license or ID number), each device has this little address.
IP addresses are also borne from networks since IPs are the only thing that allows devices to interact with any other device. Therefore, devices, addresses, networks, routers, and servers have IPs. Some IP addresses do not refer to any of these and instead are virtual tools.
An IP works with several other elements to create interactivity between devices. These elements include the network, a subnet mask, routers, servers, and security gates.
Further, there are different "versions" of IP, depending on when and how a manufacturer created a device. The most common version of IP address is IPv4. However, this type of IP is slowly phasing out, to be eventually replaced with IPv6 addresses. IPv4 addresses are diminishing for many reasons, the most pressing being a lack of available IPs; IPv4 is running out of space.
The subsequent sections speak to the types of IP address classes used by IPv4.
There are five types of classes in IP address assignments, called Class A, B, C, D, and E. Each class refers to a distinct private, public, or specialty IP address style. An explanation of each class type is provided deeper into this article.
Thus, each class has a different measure of utility. When speaking about IP addresses and their classes, many people will describe only the first two or three types—because the last two are not “available” to the public.
Despite this common habit, knowing what all the classes can achieve helps put the main types in perspective.
Some IP addresses act as giant networks, hosting millions of devices simultaneously. The biggest of these is the Class A IP addresses. Class B IP addresses are also reserved for slightly smaller networks but have no limits by location. They can still host more than a few thousand devices.
At the same time, smaller IP addresses can host devices within a specific location. These are the smallest public IP types, called Class C IP addresses. They are also called small local area networks called LANs.
Meanwhile, other IP addresses are not for public or private uses but are for particular circumstances. These classes are called D and E, respectively. They both have specific purposes, which we will cover below.
What type of IP address your devices have dictates the utility of the device and its network connection. Understanding this information can help endpoint users make better-informed choices regarding their cybersecurity, and to avoid certain threats such as IP spoofing.
IPv4 addresses are easy to read and distinguish once the reader knows their ranges. We should understand ranges as any number between the two given numbers. The two given numbers are the limits of those ranges. Any number beyond those ranges is thus a different class.
IPv4 addresses take the form of an octet of numbers, called ‘octet values.’ This looks like 0.0.0.0, but with actual numbers in place of the 0s.
An example could be 255.40.86.197; the numbers each refer to an aspect of the device and the subsequent elements ‘touching’ it.
Part of the elements that impact an IP is subnet masks. These are usually the second or third value of the octet and are essential for sharing information across networks.
Their highest value is 255; octet values cannot surpass this number as a byproduct of this limit.
Further, the three classes that use it (A, B, and C) may use one to three octet values with integrations.
These monster webs are the largest IP address networks, which can host 126 networks simultaneously. Each one of those networks can host 16.7+ million endpoints or devices.
Public Class A IPs have a first octet value that ranges from 1 to 127; this looks like addresses 18.104.22.168 to 127.0.0.0.
Again, real devices and networks have other values in place of the 0s.
On the other hand, private Class A IPs begin their range from 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255. An example of this IP type could be 10.220.63.0.
In comparison are the less wide-ranging networks of Class B. These can hold almost half of the information of their larger counterparts.
A Class B IP can hold more networks, up to 16,000+; however, they can only host 65,000+ users or devices each.
Public IP addresses of this type range have a first octet value that ranges from 22.214.171.124 to 126.96.36.199; an example could be 188.8.131.52.
While the corresponding private addresses range from 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255. An address like this could look like 172.28.200.209.
The minor public and private IPs come from Class C or LANs. Class C IPs are limited to their local area and typically hold less than a quarter of the resources Class A wields.
Class C IPs can hold more than 2 million networks, but at the same time, those networks can only host 250 endpoints each.
The first octet value for a Class C IP ranges from 192 to 233; this can look like anything from 192.0.0.0 to 184.108.40.206. An example could be 220.127.116.11.
At the same time, private Class C IPs range from 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255. IP address 192.168.79.90 is an example of this.
However, unlike the larger classes, Class C can host special IPs. These are a type of virtual IP that allows for network testing and other tools. Special IPs range from 127.0.0.0 to 127.255.255.255; like 127.0.0.1, a favorite for ping commands.
This is the first non-public or private network. Class D IPs are used for multicasting; this is the simultaneous streaming of information and media. Real-time updates and live streams are part of this.
Additionally, Class D IPs are virtual—they represent not a host but a process and related information.
The first octet value for these addresses is 224 to 239; thus, their range is 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124. An example could look like 126.96.36.199.
Class E addresses are the rarest of them all. These addresses are not available for public or private use. Instead, these addresses are used for research or experimental purposes.
Class E IPs have first octets that range from 240 to 255, so naturally, their entire range is 240.0.0.0 to 240.255.255.255. An IP like this could look like 245.27.46.5.