Understanding Networking Concepts
Unless you’re someone who works in the tech field, having a thorough comprehension of the terminology that is used (and what it means for your business) can be difficult. In business and life in general, it’s important to be open minded and never stop learning, in order to grow and reach new heights.
Here are some of the most commonly misunderstood networking terms, what they mean and how they may apply to your particular organization.
IP addresses are like the physical address for your house or your phone number: They provide a way to map a physical device to a number, whether it’s a PC, a router or a mobile device. IP Version 4 (IPv4) is still the most common form of IP address, although IP Version 6 (IPv6) is starting to emerge as IPv4 addresses are exhausted. (Learn more about the two versions in The Trouble With IPV6.)
IP addresses are typically written out in dotted decimal form, with four “octets”separated by dots. It’s actually a representation of the 32 bits in IPv4 addresses, with each octet making up eight bits. Although the highest number in an eight-bit byte is 256, 0 is reserved, so the range of each octet is really one to 255.
So, you have addresses for your networks squared away, but how do you get packetsfrom point A to point B? Routing, of course. While it might sound complicated, it’s actually quite simple. Despite the complexity of the internet, sending packets across the hall or across the world is easy and reliable.
Most TCP/IP networks are configured to have a gateway, which is either a specific piece of networking equipment or a computer with two or more connections between different networks. This is what the term “router” means. The connection of different networks is also the true meaning of the term “internet.”
Addresses are fine, but you can’t really memorize them. The Domain Name System(DNS) is what creates those web addresses that we are most familiar with. It’s DNS that maps IP addresses to names.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) maintains a list of top-level domains, such as .com and .org. There are more than 250 global TLDs, as seen on ICANN’s microsite.
Each machine has a host name file somewhere that maps names to addresses, but this gets unwieldy even with more than a few machines. Just try to imagine millions of machines around the world. DNS is a decentralized system, which makes this process much easier.’ (David Delony, techopedia.com)
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