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Protocol

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Details

IPv4 is the base protocol for addressing machines in the Internet, also known as version 4 of the IP protocol.
A successor protocol with extended address range is the IPv6 protocol. Before its development IPv4 was called IP.

IP-Address

In an IP network each machnine has an IP address and is part of a Subnet.
IPv4 addresses are 32-bit and are written as 4 dot separated decimal numbers, each number with a range of 0-255, ie:

IP-address: 192.168.178.1

This is called dot-decimal or 4-dotted notation, which is also used to specify a Subnet or Netmask.

Subnet

A Subnet is specified by its base address and a Netmask. There are 2 forms to write it:

Subnet: 192.168.178.0 - Netmask: 255.255.255.0
Subnet: 192.168.178.0/24

Both examples describe the same Subnet 192.168.178.0 - 192.168.178.255 with 8-bit address space (256 addresses).
This can address 254 hosts, since the base address is reserved to specify the Subnet and the end address is used as the
Broadcast address, which addresses all hosts in this Subnet.

Special-Use

The 32.bit address space covers 4 294 967 296 IPv4 addresses, but some of them are reserved for special use:

block                range                        addresses    scope              purpose
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0.0.0.0/8            0.0.0.0 – 0.255.255.255       16777216    Software           Current network
10.0.0.0/8           10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255     16777216    Private network    LAN
100.64.0.0/10        100.64.0.0 – 100.127.255.255   4194304    Private network    CGNAT
127.0.0.0/8          127.0.0.0 – 127.255.255.255   16777216    Host               localhost
169.254.0.0/16       169.254.0.0 – 169.254.255.255    65536    Subnet             Link-Local
172.16.0.0/12        172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255    1048576    Private network    LAN
192.0.0.0/24         192.0.0.0 – 192.0.0.255            256    Private network    IETF Protocols.
192.0.2.0/24         192.0.2.0 – 192.0.2.255            256    Documentation      TEST-NET-1
192.88.99.0/24       192.88.99.0 – 192.88.99.255        256    Internet           Reserved
192.168.0.0/16       192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255    65536    Private network    LAN
198.18.0.0/15        198.18.0.0 – 198.19.255.255     131072    Private network    Subnnet-Benchmark
198.51.100.0/24      198.51.100.0 – 198.51.100.255      256    Documentation      TEST-NET-2
203.0.113.0/24       203.0.113.0 – 203.0.113.255        256    Documentation      TEST-NET-3
224.0.0.0/4          224.0.0.0 – 239.255.255.255   68435456    Internet           Multicast
233.252.0.0/24       233.252.0.0 - 233.252.0.255        256    Documentation      MCAST-TEST-NET
240.0.0.0/4          240.0.0.0 – 255.255.255.254  268435455    Internet           Reserved
255.255.255.255/32   255.255.255.255                      1    Subnet             Broadcast

All address ranges which are not reserved for special use are considerd routable. (Table adapted from Wikipedia.int above)
Routing is the forwarding of an IP packet to the next Hop which is closer to the destnation IP address.

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