A network address is an identifier for a node or network interface of a telecommunications network. Network addresses are designed to be unique identifiers across the network, although some networks allow for local, private addresses or locally administered addresses that may not be globally unique.
In some cases, network hosts may have more than one network address; for example, each network interface may be uniquely identified. Further, because protocols are frequently layered, more than one protocol's network address can occur in any particular network interface or node and more than one type of network address may be used in any one network.
Examples of network addresses include:
- Telephone number, in the public switched telephone network
- IP address in common computer networks, as well as Internet
- IPX address, in a local area network
- X.25 or X.21 address, in a circuit switched data network
- MAC address, in Ethernet and specific other network technologies
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