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How do Computers of Network Address Each Other?

Each member of network must have:

  • Physical address or MAC-address (which is unique and provided by a network adapter) so that to interact with other members of the same network. A MAC-address is a hexadecimal number of 6 octets with general size 48 bits i.e. 8 bits per an octet. 8 bits allow to store number in the range 00h - FFh (0-255 if it was decimal notation):


    Where ab - kl are some hexadecimal numbers. You can find out your physical address by entering getmac in the command prompt of Windows operating system;

  • Logical network address or IP-address assigned so that to distinguish the computer itself and make it possible to communicate with the members of other networks as well. An IP-address is a unique number of 4 octets, with general size 32 bits i.e. 8 bits per an octet. 8 bits allow to store number in the range 0 - 255:


    An IP-address is always used together with the so-called subnet mask that helps to distinguish the destination subnetwork out of the IP-address.

    Note!Note 1: to assign the right IP-address and subnet mask for your computer, if necessary, consult an IT-specialist of your network service provider.
    Note!Note 2: the described IP-address format refers to IP-protocol ver.4. Because of the IP-addresses shortage, IP-protocol ver.4 security issues and overgrowth of the routing mechanism tables IP-addressing ver.6 is introduced progressively. It suggests the hexadecimal IP-address format with general size 128 bits, 16 bits per an octet. Instead of the subnet mask, IP-addressing ver.6 uses the subnet prefix length which means how many bits of the IP-address define the subnet.

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