A network address is a vital networking component that identifies a network node or device on a network. Once the device is identified, it can be reached by other devices on the network. In simple terms, computers on a network use a network address to identify, locate, and communicate with other computers or devices.
What is Network Address Used For?
A computer network consists of a group of computers and other networking devices that connect to share information and resources. To identify each of these computers or devices, computer networks use addresses. When a large network is divided into several smaller groups of devices or computers, these groups are known as subnets.
The addresses which these devices use are known as IP addresses and consist of two components, the network address, and the host address. The network address is used to find the subnet where the computer or device is located, and the host address is used to find the computer or device in the specified subnet.
In practice, this means that, for example, in a network with six subnets, each subnet can contain five computers. These subnets will then be identified by the network address is 1.1.1, 2.2.2, 3.3.3, and so on. The respective computers will then be identified as .1, .2, .3, and so on.
Therefore, to access a specific computer on the network, the complete IP address, or a combination of the network address and the host address should be used. This means to access the third computer on the first subnet, the IP address will be 126.96.36.199.
Also, to send data over the network, the network uses a gateway router. This connects one subnet to the other subnets of the network and allows the network to send the data between nodes or devices on the network.
So, to sum up, the network address is always written before the host address of a specific device or computer on a network. This then is the IP address of that computer or device and is used by computers to communicate with each other over a network.
Why is Network Addresses Important?
From the above, it’s easy to see why network addresses are important. As one of the components of IP addresses, they facilitate communication over a network or the Internet, which includes everything from surfing the Internet to sending an email.