What is a Class C IP Address?

Updated June 06, 2013

The files making up a website are hosted on a server. This server is connected to by Internet Protocols or IPs. However, not all IPs are created equal.

Every computer connected to the public Internet has a unique IP, typically looking like this:


As you can see an IP address is communicated with sets of numbers separated by decimals. IPs are separated into different blocks, designated by their hosting provider. Generally a host

Class C IP Address

There are five classes of IP ranges. Class A, B, C, D and E. Each class allows for a different range of IP addresses.

The sets of numbers in an IP are split into two sections: Net and Host. The Net section contains the first set of numbers. It’s used to identify the network that a computer belongs to. Host (sometimes referred to as Node) identifies the actual computer on the network. The Host section always contains the last octet. There are five IP classes plus certain special addresses. The one we’re talking about is again, that Class C.

Class C addresses are commonly used for small to mid-size businesses. For our terms, an octet is a grouping of eight bits. IP addresses with a first octet ranging from 192 to 223 are part of this class. Class C addresses also include the second and third octets as part of the Net identifier. The last octet is used to identify each host.

Class Address Range Supports

  • Class A to Supports 16 million hosts on each of 127 networks.
  • Class B to Supports 65,000 hosts on each of 16,000 networks.
  • Class C to Supports 254 hosts on each of 2 million networks.
  • Class D to Reserved for multicast groups.
  • Class E to Reserved.

Why is Class C Important?

Search engines take a close look at the servers hosting your site. To combat spamming, sites on the same server are viewed as being on the same server. Search engines have removed linking power from one site to another if they are on the same class C IP.

In other terms, two sites on the same host will only be as powerful as one. While there is no penalty, there is a detriment to their power to help each other.

How do I take advantage?

If you ever find yourself looking to acquire back links, when conducting your search engine marketing campaign, ensure you are pursuing links on sites with unique class C IP addresses for maximum promotion power. Often webmasters own several sites and host them at the same place. If they are hosted at the same place, with the same class C IP, they’ll have less collective link juice.

On the flip side, as a website owner looking to increase the strength of your own network, ask your host if they offer separate class C as an option (often paid). Set your sites up with different IPs and search engines will perceive a separation between the sites. Links between them will be juicer, as will their collective linking to other sites.

Web Resources
Check the Class C IP of a website at WebRankInfo
Classful network on Wikipedia

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