Types of Addressing in Network

What is Addressing in Networking?

Addressing in the network lets the two remote nodes in the network to communicate with each other. The communicating system in the network using TCP/IP protocols use four types of addressing, one at each layer of TCP/IP architecture.

Consider the real-world situation in that you want to send a parcel to your friend living in a different geographical area than yours. Then you must know his/her country, city, area, street and his house number.

Similarly, when you want to communicate with a remote node in a network, then you need the address of that particular node. Systems in a network using TCP/IP architecture use four levels of addresses.

In this section further, we will discuss the four types of addresses in a network. Also, we will see which address is used for which layer of TCP/IP architecture.

Types of Addressing in Network

  1. Physical Address
  2. Logical Address
  3. Port Address
  4. Application-Specific Address

Physical Address

Whatsoever network you are in, LAN or WAN, it provides a different address to all the nodes in the network. This address is a physical address, and it is also termed a link address.

The physical address is the lowest level of address. This means the physical address is specifically for the intra-networking environment. Using physical addressing, a node can send a frame to another node in the same physical network

The data link layer encapsulates the packets it receives from the network layer into frames, and the physical address is included in these frames. The type of network decides what will be the length of the address and what format it would have.

The physical address can be further classified into unicast, multicast and broadcast address. The physical unicast address is assigned to the frame that has to be sent to a single recipient. A physical multicast address is included in the frame that has to be sent to a group of recipients. The physical broadcast address is included in the frame that has to be sent to all the nodes or all the systems connected to the network.

There are some networks that might support all three types of physical addressing, like Ethernet, which supports all three types of physical addressing. But there are some networks that only support unicast addressing in such cases. What if you send the frame to a group of nodes? Then you have to send the multiple packets with a unicast address?

Must Read: Performance of Network

Logical Address

Logical addressing has a broader aspect. Its use is to send the frame between two different networks, which may have different addressing formats. It is specially designed to identify each node uniquely, irrespective of its underlying physical network.

The logical address is the IP address that is provided to the nodes connected to the internet and no two nodes here can have the same IP address. Like physical addresses, the logical addresses are classified to unicast (single receiver), multicast (multiple receivers) and broadcast (all the nodes of the system). Though broadcasting has some limit on the number of recipients.

Must Read: Virtual Private Network

Port Address

Till now, we have seen logical and physical addresses required to send and receive data between two nodes in the same or different network. But t doesn’t end here. After receiving the data at the computer, the next stage is to identify to which process in the computer the data has to be supplied.

We all are aware that the computer runs multiple processes at a time. So, to identify for which process the data has arrived, we need to label the process to identify each process in a computer uniquely. In TCP/IP architecture, the address of a process is termed a port address.

Application-Specific Address

Application-specific addresses are used to identify particular applications. For example, author@beingintelligent.com is the address of the email, and www.beingintelligent.com is the address of the website.

So, these are the four types of addresses used to communicate in the network using TCP/IP protocols.

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