Articles Tagged ‘Binary’

Binary & The Internet Protocol

To understand the Internet Protocol, we need to learn and understand Binary. It is very important to know and understand Binary because part of the IP protocol is also the "Subnetting" section which can only be explained and understood when an IP Address is converted to Binary!

This article deals with the analysis of IP addresses and covers the conversion of IP address to binary. We explain the conversion process with much detail using our well known diagrams. At the end of the article, readers will be able to understand and explain how IP address to binary conversion is performed and also calculate quickly the 32bit addressing scheme.

Those who are experienced in Binary can skim this section quickly, but do have a look through.

A lot of people are not aware that computers do not understand words, pictures and sounds, when we interact with them by playing a game, reading or drawing something on the screen. The truth is that all computers can understand is zeros (0) and ones (1) !

What we see on the screen is just an interpretation of what the computer understands, so the information displayed is useful and meaningful to us. 

Binary: Bits and Bytes

Everyone who uses the Internet would have, at one stage or another, come across the "Byte" or "Bit" term, usually when you're downloading, you get the speed indication in bytes or KBytes per second. We are going to see exactly what a Bit, Byte and KByte is, so you understand the terms.

To put it as simply as possible, a Bit is the smallest unit/value of Binary notation. The same way we say 1 cent is the smallest amount of money you can have , a Bit is the same thing but not in cents or dollars, but in Binary.

A Bit can have only one value, either a one (1) or a zero (0). So If I gave you a value of zero: 0, then you would say that is one Bit. If I gave you two of them: 00, you would say that's two Bits.

Now, if you had 8 zeros or ones together: 0110 1010 (I put a space in between to make it easier for the eyes) you would say that's 8 Bits or, one Byte ! Yes that is correct, 8 Bits are equal to one Byte.

The picture below gives you some examples:

ip-binary-1

It's like saying, if you have 100 cents, that is equal to one Dollar. In the same way, 8 Bits (doesn't matter if they are all 1s or 0s or a mixture of the two) would equal one Byte.

And to sum this all up, 1024 Bytes equal 1 KByte (Kilobyte). Why 1024 and not 1000 ? Well it's because of the way Binary works. If you did the maths, you would find the above correct.

IP Protocol

Perhaps one of the most important and well known protocols is the Internet Protocol or, if you like, IP. IP gives us the ability to uniquely identify each computer in a network or on the Internet.

This section provides one of the most comprehensive analysis available online for the IP protocol. To make it easier for the reader, we have broken the analysis into smaller sections with many diagrams and illustrations.

When a computer is connected to a network or the Internet, it is assigned a unique IP address. If you're connecting to the Internet, chances are you're given an IP automatically by your ISP, if you're connecting to your LAN then you're either given the IP automatically or you manually configure the workstation with an assigned IP.

We cannot emphasise the importance of fully understanding how the IP Protocol works as it is the foundation to understanding how network communications work. DNS, FTP, SNMP, SMTP, HTTP and a lot of other protocols and services rely heavily on the IP protocol in order to function correctly, so you can immediately see that IP is more than just an IP Address on your workstation.

Since the Internet Protocol is a big subject we've split the covered material between a number of articles in order to make it easy to read and learn about.

Here is a summary of what's covered:

  • Section 1: Binary and the Internet Protocol. Here we cover a few basic Binary concepts and get to see how Binary and IP fit together.
  • Section 2: Internet Protocol Header. Find out how the Internet Protocol fits in the OSI Model. Also includes a detailed 3d diagram of the IP Header which shows the fields that exist in the IP Header
  • Section 3: Internet Protocol Classes. We get to see the 5 different IP Classes and analyse them in Binary. Also you get to learn about the Network ID and Host ID in an IP Address.

Subnetting

Subnetting is a very interesting and important topic. It's most possible that most of you have heard about it or have some idea what it's all about. For those who haven't dealt with subnets before... hang in there because you're not alone! Keep in mind we also have our website's forums where you can post questions or read up on other people's questions and answers. It's an excellent source of information and we highly recommend them!

For some reason a lot of people consider Subnetting to be a difficult subject, which is true to some extent and especially for people who are new to the networking world.  Readers will be interested in knowing that mastering Subnetting is not all that difficult - it simply requires time, practice and a lot of patience.

A world of advice

If you started reading the IP protocol on this site from the begining and have understood everything, then you won't have any problem understanding subnetting... however if on the other hand readers feel like that could use a refreshing on their networking basics, we would highly advise visiting the IP Protocol section under Protocols to help them revise the necessary theory which is the foundation of Subnetting.

Subnetting on Firewall.cx is broken into 5 sections. Each section tackles a specific area and also provides the basic understanding for the next topic. Logically, as you move on to higher sections, the concepts and complexity will increase.

  • Section 1: Basic Subnetting Concepts. This section is to help you understand what a subnet really is. Introduction to the Default Subnet masks is covered at first and then you get to see and learn how the network is affected by changing the subnet mask.

  • Section 2: Subnet Masks and Their Effect. Here we will look at the Default Subnet mask in a bit more detail and introduce a few new concepts. Classless and Classful IP Addresses are covered here and you get to learn how the subnet mask affects them.

  • Section 3: The Subnet Mask Bits. Detailed analysis of subnet mask bits. Learn to recognise the number of bits in a subnet mask, followed by an introduction to complex subnets.
  • Section 4: Routing and Communications between Subnets. Understand how routers deal with subnets, how computers which are in different subnets can communicate with each other, along with a few general notes on subnetting that you should know.

  • Section 5: Subnetting Guidelines. Some last information to help you plan your new networks and a few things to keep in mind so you can avoid future problems with subnets.

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