Those who are going to be using servers in their business network or even for personal use should always have at least a basic working knowledge of how they operate. It’s important to understand how to locate different elements of a network and system like the subnet, the DNS, IP, and Gateway. Below, we will be looking into each of these areas to help you learn what you need to know.
IP stands for Internet Protocol. Ips are used by both public networks and private networks as a means to communicate between devices that are a part of the network. Regardless of the size of the network, from a small home network that you have set up to the Internet itself uses assigned IP addresses to determine just where information goes.
IP addresses have eight numbers that are assigned to a device that connects to the network. To make it a bit easier to understand what an IP address is, you can think of it like your own physical address at home. Only in this case, you are sending data to another address rather than a letter.
Today, there are two different types of IP addresses – IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 is the most common type of IP address today, but it’s quite likely that more and more addresses in the future will be IPv6 because it can support far more IP addresses than IPv4. The IPv4 addresses are 32-bit and utilize dotted decimal notation, while the IPv6 addresses are 128 bits and use hexadecimal notation.
IPv4 addresses are separated into five different classes – A, B, C, D, and E. Each of these classes are used for different purposes. Class A addresses are generally used by extremely large companies, while Class B is for use with medium-sized companies. Small companies will likely have Class C addresses. Class D is used for multicast addressing, and Class E is used for scientific studies.
A gateway is a node in a computer network, and it is a stopping point for data that is traveling to or from other networks. The gateway allows for communication and the transference of data between networks. In a business setting, the gateway is typically a computer that will route traffic from a computer or server in the workplace to an outside network. At home, the gateway would be the modem that connects you to the Internet service provider that provides access to the network.
It’s important to understand the difference between gateways and routers. A gateway will regulate traffic between dissimilar networks, while a router will regulate the traffic between analogous networks.
A subnet, or sub-network, is essentially a small network that is a part of a larger network. The main purpose of a subnet like a broadcast domain is to provide communication between devices on a data network. It does this through the MAC addresses on those devices. The main purpose of a subnet is to help relieve congestion in a network, which can help to increase performance.
A subnet mask will look similar to an IP address, but it features four 8-bit numbers that are separated by periods.
DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it helps to convert domain names that are readable by humans into IP addresses, which are used by computers. Computers don’t communicate with one another using standard “human language”. Instead, they use numbers. When you enter a domain into a browser, it will convert it into numbers, so it can connect to the website that you want to visit.
A DNS server is a computer server that has a database of public IP addresses and their hostnames. DNS servers are often configured on a router or a computer when connecting to an ISP. There are two DNS servers configured to provide redundancy if one of them fails for some reason.
On a Windows PC, you can use the “dnslookup” command to quester your DNS server and get any information that you might need.
Finding What You Need
Depending on the device you are using, there will be different ways to find your IP, subnet mask, DNS, and gateway. Often, you can find the IP addresses in the network settings of your device.
If you are using Windows, you can also click the Start button and enter “cmd” in the search box. Press Enter to see a list of results including Command Prompt. Click on that and then click on Run as Administrator. Click Continue and type “ipconfig” and press enter. You should then see the IP address, the subnet mask, and the default gateway.
Always take the time to familiarize yourself with the equipment you are using, so you know how to find all of this information quickly and easily.