Addressing is a key function of network layer protocols that enables data communication between hosts, regardless of whether the hosts are on the same network or on different networks. Both Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) provide hierarchical addressing for packets that carry data.

Designing, implementing and managing an effective IP addressing plan ensures that networks can operate effectively and efficiently.

This chapter examines in detail the structure of IP addresses and their application to the construction and testing of IP networks and subnetworks.