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Each logical network address is protocol-dependent. For example, a TCP/ IP address is not the same as an IPX address. Additionally, the two protocols can coexist on the same computer without conflict. However, two different stations using the same protocol cannot have the same logical network address on the same network. If that happens, neither station can be seen on the network (see Figure 2.16).


Address conflicts on a network

Address conflicts can be common with TCP/IP because an administrator often needs to assign IP addresses. IPX addresses don’t suffer from conflict nearly as often, because they use the MAC address as part of the IPX address. The MAC address is unique and can’t be changed. For more information on network addresses, see Chapter 4, «TCP/IP Utilities.»

Real World Scenario

Whenever you have to set up a network or add a station, it is important to have an understanding of how network addresses work. Every network address in either TCP/IP or IPX has both a network portion and a node portion. The network portion is the number that is assigned to the network segment to which the station is connected. The node portion is the unique number that identifies that station on the segment. Together, the network portion and the node portion of an address ensure that a network address will be unique across the entire network.

IPX addresses use an eight-digit hexadecimal number for the network portion. This number, called the IPX network address, can be assigned randomly by the installation program or manually by the network administrator. The node portion is the 12-digit hexadecimal MAC address

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