Network & Broadcast address

Network and Broadcast address are derived from the general IP addresses and are used for specific or reserved applications. Network address refers to the IP addresses with all the bits in the host address 0s. The network address refers to the network itself. For e.g, a class A address 96.0.0.0 refers to the same class A network with network address ’96’.

Broadcast address refers to the IP address of all the hosts in a network i.e in situations when network need to send packets that need to be received by all hosts. To implement this, we set all the bits of the IP address other than the network address to 1’s to denote all hosts in that network and is mainly used for broadcasting common information among the hosts. For e.g, a class A address 96.1.1.1 refers to all the hosts in the class A network with network address 96. This type of addressing is called directed broadcasting.

However in cases when the full IP address is not known, the host may send a broadcast address of all 1’s in the 32 bits to the local network. This type of broadcast is called limited broadcast. As the host learns the IP address of the local network, it gradually switches to directed broadcasting.

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