address classes

   In a 32-bit IP address, which is shown in the accompanying illustration, the number of bits used to identify the network and the host vary according to the network class of the address, as follows:
   • Class A is used only for very large networks. The high-order bit in a Class A network is always zero, leaving 7 bits available to define 127 networks. The remaining 24 bits of the address allow each Class A network to hold as many as 16,777,216 hosts. Examples of Class A networks include General Electric, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, Xerox, Digital Equipment Corporation, and MIT. All the Class A networks are in use, and no more are available.
   • Class B is used for medium-sized networks. The 2 high-order bits are always 10, and the remaining bits are used to define 16,384 networks, each with as many as 65,535 hosts attached. Examples of Class B networks include Microsoft and Exxon. All Class B networks are in use, and no more are available.
   • Class C is for smaller networks. The 3 high-order bits are always 110, and the remaining bits are used to define 2,097,152 networks, but each network can have a maximum of only 254 hosts. Class C networks are still available.
   • Class D is a special multicast address and cannot be used for networks. The 4 high• order bits are always 1110, and the remaining 28 bits allow for more than 268 million possible addresses.
   • Class E is reserved for experimental purposes. The first four bits in the address are always 1111.

Dictionary of networking . 2014.

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