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Glossary: IP Addressing for home networks

Every network device needs an IP (Internet Protocol) address. An IP address is a unique number which identifies a device, such as an IP camera or PC, on your network and allows other devices to forward information to it. An analogy of an IP address might be a telephone number. Every telephone number is different and dialling the correct number will allow you to communicate with the right phone. IP addresses can be set dynamically, meaning they are assigned by another device such as a router or modem, or by manually specifying a static address.

An IP address is a set of 4 number clusters with each cluster being a number between 0 and 254 in the form of xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (e.g. 192.168.0.1). The common range for use on home networks is 192.168.0.1 to 192.168.0.254 which allows you to have 254 different network devices all on the same network.

You may also be interested to know that your internet router will have two IP addresses, one which is seen by the internet (known as a WAN address) and one which is seen by the local network (known as a LAN address). Should you wish to access devices from outwith your local network you will need to know the “outside” address as seen from the internet.

Published on July 21st, 2008 by James Drinkwater

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