Networking for Beginners
If you’re reading this, chances are you've been assigned the task of networking some devices and might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. This guide aims to assist you not only in understanding how to do it but also in comprehending how it all functions.
Starting from ground zero
If you're just connecting regular devices, you're likely using IPv4. IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) stands as the fourth version of the Internet Protocol, serving as the trusty sidekick that facilitates communication between your device and the Internet. In existence since the 1980s, IPv4 remains the most widely utilized IP protocol.
An IPv4 address functions as a digital identifier for your device, enabling it to be recognized and located online. It comprises a 32-bit numerical label presented in a dotted decimal format, such as 192.168.1.1. These 32 bits are segmented into four 8-bit sections, referred to as octets, separated by dots. Each octet is denoted by a number ranging from 0 to 255.
The initial three octets signify the network to which your device is connected, akin to a street address. The fourth octet denotes your device, essentially assisting your network and other devices in locating it, similar to a house number. For instance, if the IP address of your IP camera is 192.168.5.200, your laptop must be on the same network (or street address) to find and communicate with the camera. Therefore, you would need to manually change your laptop's third octet from its original value to 5.
What transpires if the fourth octets of two devices are identical when connected to the same network? In such cases, either the device with the IP address first assigned will need to select another, or the device you are trying to assign that IP address to will refuse to cooperate. It is advisable to keep track of the IP addresses in use on your network to avoid communication issues.
Now that you have established your IP address, you may encounter the Subnet Mask and Default Gateway. In most network configuration management tools, you will find the option to modify your subnet mask and default gateway after assigning an IP address.
The Subnet Mask segregates the IP address into the network and host address (equivalent to street address and house number). In nearly all cases (99% of the time), you will observe 255.255.255.0. If, for some reason, this is not automatically generated under the subnet mask, feel free to manually enter this address.
The Default Gateway represents the address of your network router. The default gateway will generally be your network address, with the fourth octet being the number 1. For example, in the instance mentioned earlier, it would be 192.168.5.1.
But what if you want to revert your device's IP address to its original state? Returning to the imaginary IP camera with the IP address 192.168.5.200, let's say you initially changed your laptop’s IP address to communicate with the camera. Now, you wish to restore the IP camera and laptop to their original IP address, allowing them to communicate with all other devices on your network. To accomplish this, locate the IP camera’s network settings, typically labeled as network settings or network configuration. In these settings, adjust the IP camera’s IP address to align with your other devices on the network.
For instance, if the IP camera’s IP address was 192.168.5.200, and your router or network switch is on the IP address 192.168.30.1, and assuming the original IP address of your laptop was 192.168.30.100, you would need to change the IP camera’s address to 192.168.30.200 or another number between 1 and 254 (on the fourth octet) if that IP address is already in use. Subsequently, revert your laptop's IP address to its original value. If you don't recall the original IP address, you can use the DHCP option, automatically assigning an available IP address on your network, likely the same as before.
Once complete, confirm the new settings on your laptop, and you may or may not need to reboot your device for the changes to take effect.
If you are having trouble networking your BZBGEAR device, please contact technical support.