Networking Fundamentals

Networking Fundamentals


  • IP Address: The numerical address used to communicate between computers on a network.
    • Public IP: The address of a device on the internet
    • Private IP: The address of a device on the local network (usually different from public IP)
    • Port: The numerical port used to specify the application on the machine that you wish to communicate with.
      Note: By default DataTurbine uses 3333.
    • Localhost: localhost is a reserved word that can be used to access the same machine that a program is running on. It is really a shorthand for and is referred to as the loopback address.
  • Firewall: Blocks incoming communication on unfamiliar ports while permitting outgoing communication
  • Mirroring – mechanism by which a DataTurbine server is replicated by another DataTurbine server

IP Address

An IP address, if you are new to networking this is similar to a street address. It is a numerical number assigned to a device that other devices need to know to communicate. There are usually two addresses a Private IP that identifies a device on a private network (like an office) and a public IP that specifies your address address on the internet. Typically multiple computers on a network will share a single public IP.

When working on a single computer you don’t have to worry about network issues. You can use the word localhostinstead of an IP address. localhost is a shortcut that tells your computer that the location you are try to reach is on the same machine. In reality is a constant for the loopback address and stands in for the value

Until the world switches to IPv6, only pay attention to the IPv4 number. It is of the form #.#.#.# and consists of only numbers separated by periods.

Private IP

The private IP is the address of this computer on the local network. Depending on the size of the institution local can mean a handful of computers in one room or across multiple sites. Other computers on the network can use this address to connect to a computer on the network. The outside world does not know about this address so if you send it to someone at a computer not connected to the local network (for example a home computer or a computer on at a different institution) this address would not work.

To determine the Private IP of your computer:

  • On Windows:
    1. Open a command prompt and enter: ipconfig
    2. Look at the IPv4 entry under the network adapter you are using
  • On Linux:
    • Open a terminal and enter: ifconfig
    • Look at the inet addr entry under the network adapter you are using
  • On Mac 10.5+
    • From the Apple menu, select System Preferences… . In System Preferences, from the View menu, select Network.
    • In the Network preference window, click a network port (e.g., Ethernet, AirPort, Wi-Fi). If you are connected, you’ll see its IP address under “Status:”.
  • On Mac OS X < 10.5:
    • From the Apple menu, select Location, and then Network Preferences… .
    • In the Network Preference window, next to “Show:”, select Network Status. You’ll see your network status and your IP address displayed.

Public IP:

The public IP out to people outside your network (for example someone at another location, or another institution, or someone working from home) you would give out your Public IP.

To determine the Public IP:

  • Ask your network administrator.
  • If your network has a single public IP for the network you can check it online


Ports on a computer are similar to gate number in an airport. Continuously there are dozens of applications attempting to communicate with a computer. Ports are used to route the messages to the correct application.

Some ports to be aware of:

20-21 FTP File Transfer
22 SSH Secure Shell Connection
80 HTTP Web Service
110 POP3 Email
115 SFTP Secured File Transfer
443 HTTPS Secure Web Service
0-1000 Reserved Operating system privilaged ports
1024-65536 Application All non operating system applications
3333 DataTurbine Default port, can be changed to any other application port.
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