Breaking Down the Network’s Terminologies

Common network’s terminologies’ explanations

Recommendations of Materials

• Always Wikipedia !!! (But to be honest it’s not really friendly to very first)

• YouTube Channel named ‘PowerCert Animated Videos’ (Highly Recommended, have no stress to learn, and their animations are pretty naughty sometimes)

Describes | For the Record

I didn’t prioritize the accuracy of descriptions and depth of contents when I’m writing, the aim of this assay is having a quick glance at these sophisticated terminologies, letting you comprehend how them work matters. So if you wanna delve into them, go to the Wikipedia ,Google ,YouTube, some personal blogs and stuffs, they’re better than mine in that aspects.

Well, as you can see, I’m not a professional ITer, I learnt it just for fun and curiosity. It may have some subtle flaws in this article, and I wrote this essay mainly because I’m on the way of learning English, so tell me what exactly the issues are, I’d love to and be really thankful to get improved it.

Now, enjoy the article.


You may frequently heard about following terminologies in very daily Internet routines, some like public IP address, private IP address, Domain, IPv4, IPv6, port, etc. They seemly are too abstract to be understood for beginners. So let me break them down in a less painful way to you, soon you’ll comprehend them as you perceive the realistic world.

Perceive Internet as the mail system

The operation behind the Internet is more like the network of the mail system, have you ever wondered how other’s messages can precisely and accurately convey to you phone rather than the other random guys? Well, just as the real world does, your home locates on a specific address with name of country, province, district, street, unit, house number and stuffs, the Internet network does have things like that. So further, you literally can perceive the terminologies as indicators that what exactly roles they played in the part of realistic world’s mail system, things may get some inappreciable differences between the real world and the theoretical cyberspace as you delve further in, but it doesn’t hinder your comprehension, you’ll find the slight discrepancies and comprehend them better ultimately.

For easier understanding, I’ll name another subtitle each part of them, so you can picture it before you get started.

IP Address | Your House Number

If you wanna mail your friend a package, you have to give the mailman a location that where you’re and where your friend is. The location seem like ‘xxx country, xxx province, xxx district, xxx street, xxx unit, xxx number’, and the most common location in cyberspace is like ‘’, the series that made of “random” numbers and punctuation marks(sometimes even included letters, but we’ll hit that later, here’s a quick look, ‘2001:db8:3333:4444:5555:6666:7777:8888’) is what we called – IP Address. By the way, the maximum IP address is ‘’ and the minimum is ‘’.

You have to give the computer something like that so that they can deliver your package correctly. And the address should be unique in the same network, otherwise delivery guy would get confused, cause there were two different places and both called ‘center park’.

Further, IP address could separate into several range parts, each parts have their own unique features, like used for LAN, used for WAN(not fully correct, but good to understand). But that’s too deep, maybe we’ll talk about it later.

WAN(Wide Area Network) / LAN(Local Area Network) |Public Mail System & Internal Mail System

As their names, the main difference between them is in the area part. If I said the ‘mailman’ could reach every devices in the whole mail system, then you could roughly consider it as in the WAN, but if the ‘mailman’ could only reach the very limited and certain range of devices, then they are maybe in the LAN.

Basically, you can directly touch every single networking device around the world in the WAN system. As for LAN, you can only touch your home’s devices when you connected your house’s Wi-Fi.

Approximately, WAN is kind of equals the public networking, for LAN and subnet, they’re basically the same thing. They do have subtle discrepancies, but you don’t have to recognize them.

Public IP Address | Like Your House Number that Everyone Can Reach It

Like fore mentioned, you have to give the mailman your house number before mailing your package, the public IP address is the specific location address in the WAN.

For instance, is a public IP address, everyone can touch it.

Private IP Address | Like Your House Number but Not Everyone Can Reach It

Only your local mailman can find the location, others cannot, that location in the cyberspace is called private IP address.

E.g,, the most common address, you could reach it only if you are in this subnet. Aha, a new terminology, subnet, seems like a little confusing, right? Let’s just say, you could talk directly to your living room’s computer with your phone when they both connected to the Wi-Fi, but some random guys from street couldn’t, right? That’s because they’re not connected to your home Wi-Fi, they’re not in your subnets. For cases of nearly 99 percents, everyone who connected to the subnetwork would be allotted a least one private IP address.

IPv4 & IPv6 | Two Methods of Naming Your House Location

Have you ever thought about why there’s private IP address exists since with the public IP address you could reach every networking devices around the world? The major reason is that the people who construct the antecedent of the Internet hadn’t and couldn’t anticipate the thrivings of nowadays cyberspace, everyone has more than one device that needed to connect to Internet, the amount of networks’ addresses is totally not enough, and the public IP pool have already drained, private IP address or we called subnet is one of solutions for figuring this out. It likes a tree’s branches, since there can only be existed one tree in a certain place, but it does can exist lots of branches and leaves. One major branch can contain many minor branches, and the minor branch can contain plenty of leaves. So, in this case, the tree presents Public IP address, the branches whatever the major or minor present the subnets, and the leaves present users’ devices, and each leaves would get a private IP address. That said one subnet can contain another or several subnets, so that the problem solved.

But that’s not a perfection. It causes other problems, like performance issues, reaching issues and so on. Here’s another solution, IPv6. But hold that thought, we haven’t talked about IPv4, how come we get into the IPv6 part? Yeah, cause IPv4 is prevailing, what we just said are all based on IPv4. Technically, v4 and v6 are same things. Let’s check out their full names, then you’ll see.

IPv4 – Internet Protocol version 4, IPv6 – Internet Protocol version 6.

It’s clear enough, they’re just the different methods of naming your house number. You can easily recognize which method or protocol they used. It only consists of some numbers and dots, it’s IPv4. And it consists of some numbers letters and colons, it’s IPv6. Maybe you’re curious about is there has v1 or v5? The answer is yes, theoretically they’re existence, but we don’t use them in daily life.

The purpose of IPv6 is more radical and advance, the union which developed it claims that each grain of sand around the world can be allotted one public IP address, that’s nuts. But still, it’s not flawless. Cause it literally reforms the whole cyberspace, not only cardinal networking facilities needed to be changed, but also lots of terminal devices, and so on. You couldn’t cut all the old devices off, the whole transition costs a lot. But again, the ultimate achievement of IPv6 is ideal, there’re no more subnet things, you can directly access the servers from the other side of the earth.

In fact, the world is on the way of transformation process for a longtime. But even now, we’re still mainly under the IPv4’s ruling.

Domain | Friendly Name of IP Address

You don’t wanna memorize a series made of some random numbers or even letters and punctuation marks just for accessing some personal blogs or company’s websites, that’s insane and unwise. So here is, the Domain, just type some meaningful words into the browser, boom, you reach your goal. But the computers won’t recognize these words as reachable addresses like, the computer only can read things like or 2001:db8:3333:4444:5555:6666:7777:8888.

But why computers can understand what you just typed? Yeah, that’s simply because some ‘kind person’ translated these letters into computer-understandable language for you behind the screen. As for ‘this generous guy’, we’ll mention it later.

The thing you should know is that things like ‘’ or ‘’ is what we called DOMAIN.

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