The subnet mask is not an address But it determines, which part of the IP address is the network field and which part is the host field. A subnet mask is 32 bits long and has 4 octets just like an IP address, for example 255.255.255.0(/24).
There are certain addresses in each class of IP address that are not assigned. These addresses are called private addresses. Private addresses might be used by hosts that use network address translation (NAT) or a proxy server to connect to a public network; or, by hosts that do not connect to the Internet at all.
The private addresses can be used together with a network address translation (NAT) server. Either a NAT server or a proxy server provides connectivity to all hosts in a network that has relatively few public addresses available. By agreement, any traffic with a destination address within one of the private address ranges will NOT be routed on the Internet.
After determination of the addressing scheme, the method for assigning addresses to hosts needs to be chosen. There are essentially two methods for assigning IP addresses - static addressing and dynamic addressing. Regardless of addressing scheme, no two interfaces can have the same IP address.
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