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Class B IP Address

Definition of Class B IP Address

A Class B IP address is a type of public IP address designed to accommodate medium to large-sized networks. It's distinguished by a 16-bit network prefix and a 16-bit host identifier, allowing for up to 65,536 addresses per network. This places Class B in a sweet spot, encompassing more networks than Class A but with more individual addresses available per network than Class C.

Origin of Class B IP Address

The origin of the Class B IP address is anchored in the early days of the internet, specifically with the inception of the IP address scheme. Developed as part of the broader TCP/IP networking protocol, Class B was intended to fill the gap between the highly abundant Class A addresses and the smaller Class C networks, forming a middle ground that could serve sizable organizations efficiently.

Practical Application of Class B IP Address

Practically, Class B addresses are utilized by universities, governments, and large corporations that require a significant number of IP addresses but do not need the vast scale of Class A. For instance, a university with multiple campuses might use a Class B address to efficiently allocate IP addresses to each campus network, departments, and other resources without the need for multiple public IP addresses.

Benefits of Class B IP Address

The benefits of Class B IP addresses are manifold. Primarily, they offer a robust number of host combinations, making them ideal for organizations with extensive network requirements. They strike a balance between too many (which can be wasteful) and too few (which can be restrictive), thereby optimizing network management and performance. Additionally, they support subnetting, which further enhances network organization and security by allowing the network to be segmented into smaller, more manageable sections.


Class B IP addresses offer a middle range of available networks and host addresses. They have a larger number of addresses available than Class C but fewer networks than Class A, making them suitable for medium to large-sized networks.

While a Class B IP address could technically be used by a small business, it is often more address space than a small enterprise requires. A Class C or even Class D address might be more appropriate and cost-effective for small business needs.

Large organizations benefit from Class B IP addresses because they provide a sufficient number of IP addresses to accommodate their size without the complexity and underutilization that might come with a Class A address. This enables better resource allocation and network management.


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