Understanding IP Networks

Types of IP Addresses Available

 


Type of IP Address

How the IP Address is Allocated

Description

Public

Static Public IP Address

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

ISP’s allocate a static public IP address to allow network devices to communicate with each other over the internet. It works like a public telephone number and will allow your remote codec to call your studio codec over the Internet.

Dynamically Assigned Public IP Address

Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

ISP’s usually allocate dynamically (automatically) assigned public IP addresses to allow network devices to communicate with each other over the Internet. (Not recommended for studio installations because each time you connect to your ISP the IP address can change).

Private

Dynamically Assigned Private IP Address

DHCP Server/Router on your own private LAN network.

A DHCP server-allocated IP address that is automatically assigned to a device on a LAN to allow it to communicate with other devices and the internet. This address can change each time a device connects.

Static Private IP Address

LAN Administrator

A network administrator-allocated static address which is programmed into a device to allow it to connect to a LAN. Often a security measure to only allow access to devices approved by a network administrator.

 

Obtaining Public IP Addresses

To send audio streams over the public internet you need to use a public IP address assigned to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

 

A public IP address is like your public telephone number and allows you to be contacted over the internet in much the same way people dial your public telephone number. They come in two forms; dynamic (DHCP) and static. Most ISPs assign a dynamic public IP address by default, which can often change without you knowing. This is suitable for a quick demo of your Tieline codec, but for a permanent installation you will need to request a permanent static public IP address.

 

Once the Static Public IP address is assigned to your internet connection (router) at the studio you need to create a link between the public IP address and your codec’s private IP address on the LAN. This is called Network Address Translation.

 

Depending upon how your network is configured, it may also be possible to simply connect your Tieline codec directly into your ADSL modem/router and receive a public address from the router.

 

Private LAN IP Addresses

By default your Tieline codec will normally be automatically assigned a private IP address when you connect it to a typical router over a LAN.

 

Private IP Addresses are associated with LANs and normally reside behind a firewall and are not visible to the internet. They are generally in the ranges: 10.0.0.1 – 10.255.255.255, 169.254.0.0 – 169.254.255.255, 172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255 and 192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255 and are assigned by network DHCP servers and routers.

 

These IP Addresses are generally assigned for a predefined period (known as a lease) by your network's DHCP server or router. This IP address will generally expire after the lease period. DHCP assigned IP Addresses may also change if the device is disconnected for lengthy periods or if power to the device is turned off and back on. As a result, it is advised that you make this  IP address permanent by assigning it as a Static DHCP IP Address. This will ensure you are able to always forward incoming audio packets to your codec using the same private IP address at the studio using port forwarding (see the section on port forwarding for more details). Consult your Network Administrator if you are unsure how to do this.

 

Network Address Translation (NAT)

Network Address Translation (NAT) is a method of connecting multiple devices to the internet using one public IP address.

 

The best way to explain NAT is to use the example of a phone system at an office that has one public telephone number and multiple extensions. This type of telephone system allows people to call you on a single public telephone number and performs the translation and routing of the public number to a particular private extension. Similarly, in order to receive an IP call from a remote codec over the public internet, the same network address translation principle applies. NAT and port forwarding allows a single device, such as a broadband router, to act as an agent between the public internet and a local private LAN.

 

The relationship between public and private IP addresses and NAT is displayed in the following diagram and the following section explains port forwarding configuration in more detail.

 

Port Forwarding: Tieline TCP and UDP Port Settings

For your Tieline Codec to communicate over the public internet an IP Address alone is not sufficient. In TCP/IP and UDP networks the codec port is the endpoint of your connection. Ports are doorways for IP devices to communicate with each other. Picture a house and imagine the front door is the entry point represented by a public or private IP address. Then you want to get to several codecs in different rooms of the same house and ports represent the doors to each of those rooms. In principle this is how port addressing works.

 

For example, several codecs may dial into your studio using the same public static IP address. In this situation it is necessary to configure codec 'programs' with audio streams using different audio ports for discretely routing each incoming and outgoing audio stream. By doing this your studio's network routers know where IP packets for each audio stream should be routed, i.e. to which codec and respective audio outputs.

 

When data packets are received from remote codecs at a particular public IP address, port information is translated from data packets to ensure the correct packets are sent to the correct studio codecs. This process is performed by PAT (Port Address Translation), which is a feature of NAT (Network Address Translation) devices.

 

Tieline codecs use TCP ports for setting up the communication session and UDP ports for streaming audio. While TCP ports are generally open, UDP ports are generally blocked by network devices which contain firewalls and will stop you delivering your audio. Depending on the codecs you are using, you need to configure your firewall to allow TCP and UDP protocols to pass through the ports listed in the table below.