An IP address refers to one unique address which is usually assigned to a host (workstation, server, router, switch etc).A network address refers to a range of IP addresses.
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Assigning an IP address (e.g., 192.168.0.1) is a simple as selecting one which is not used within the given network addresses.
Assigning a network address (e.g., 192.168.0.0/24) requires you to understand your current and future needs, so you can use the appropriate network numbering scheme, but also select the best suitable subnet mask.
IPv6 technology was in various testing stages until the mid-2000s, when commercial production deployment commenced.
Today, these two versions of the Internet Protocol are in simultaneous use.
Among other technical changes, each version defines the format of addresses differently.
Because of the historical prevalence of IPv4, the generic term IP address typically still refers to the addresses defined by IPv4.
In 1981, the addressing specification was revised with the introduction of classful network architecture.
Classful network design allowed for a larger number of individual network assignments and fine-grained subnetwork design.
Two versions of the Internet Protocol are in common use in the Internet today.
The original version of the Internet Protocol that was first deployed in 1983 in the ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, is Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4).