Dotted Decimal Notation

Definition of Dotted Decimal Notation

Dotted decimal notation is a representation of IPv4 addresses, which consist of 32 bits separated into four groups called octets. Each octet contains 8 bits and is expressed as a decimal number ranging from 0 to 255. The four decimal numbers are separated by dots, resulting in a format like, which makes the IP addresses more human-readable and easier to understand.


Dotted Decimal Notation in phonetics is pronounced as: D-O-T-T-E-D D-E-C-I-M-A-L N-O-T-A-T-I-O-N/ˈdɒtɪd/ /ˈdesɪməl/ /noʊˈteɪʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Dotted Decimal Notation is a human-readable representation of IP addresses, consisting of four decimal integers separated by dots.
  2. Each decimal integer in the notation corresponds to an 8-bit binary octet, with the value range from 0 to 255.
  3. Dotted Decimal Notation is commonly used in network settings and configuration to easily identify and differentiate IP addresses.

Importance of Dotted Decimal Notation

Dotted Decimal Notation is an essential term in the world of technology, as it serves as the primary method for expressing and interpreting IPv4 addresses.

It plays a crucial role in facilitating internet communication and ensuring that data packets are routed accurately across computer networks.

By breaking down 32-bit binary IPv4 addresses into four sets of 8-bit segments (octets) and representing each segment through a decimal value ranging from 0 to 255, separated by periods, the notation makes the address more human-friendly and easier to understand.

This simplification not only promotes user comprehension, but also aids in the effective management and organization of IP addresses across networks and devices worldwide.


Dotted Decimal Notation serves as a critical component in the sphere of networking and internet communication, by providing a simplified, human-readable format to represent the actual numerical IP addresses that computers use to communicate. The role of IP addresses is vital in the functionality of the internet since they depict unique identifiers assigned to devices, such as computers and servers, to distinguish them from each other.

By employing the Dotted Decimal Notation format, the long, arduous strings of binary numbers are efficiently presented in smaller, more manageable groups, thus enabling individuals to easily read, decipher, and input the IP addresses when required. In essence, Dotted Decimal Notation is a visual representation of IP addresses, predominantly utilized within the IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) address system.

This notation divides the 32-bit IP address into four 8-bit segments, called octets, which are then converted into their decimal equivalent, ranging from 0 to 255. By separating each octet with a dot, or period, users can quickly grasp and operate with these addresses when configuring networks, troubleshooting devices, or simply navigating through the virtual world.

Ultimately, Dotted Decimal Notation significantly streamlines the process of working with and understanding IP addresses, thus facilitating smooth and efficient network communication.

Examples of Dotted Decimal Notation

Dotted decimal notation is a numerical representation commonly used to express IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. It splits 32-bit binary addresses into four 8-bit segments (octets), converting them into their decimal form, which makes it easier for humans to read and understand. Here are three real-world examples related to dotted decimal notation:Home networks: Most home networks using Wi-Fi routers have devices connected with private IP addresses. These IP addresses often use dotted decimal notation and may look like1 for the router and other IP addresses such as

2,3 for the connected devices.Web servers: Websites are hosted on servers, and these servers have unique IP addresses assigned to them, using the dotted decimal notation. For example, the IPv4 address for the Google server is

When you access, your browser resolves the domain name to this IP address and establishes a connection.Network troubleshooting tools: Network administrators often use tools such as “ping” and “traceroute” to troubleshoot network connectivity issues. These tools heavily rely on dotted decimal notation as they display the IP addresses of devices and routers involved in the communication process. For instance, the “ping” command may show a response like “Reply from8: bytes=32 time=25ms TTL=57,” where

8 is the IP address of the target in dotted decimal notation.

FAQ: Dotted Decimal Notation

What is Dotted Decimal Notation?

Dotted Decimal Notation is a human-readable way to express IPv4 addresses, which are used to identify devices on a network. It consists of four sets of numbers, called octets, separated by periods. Each octet represents eight bits of data and can range from 0 to 255, such as in the format “”.

Why is Dotted Decimal Notation important?

Dotted Decimal Notation is important because it allows humans to easily read and understand IPv4 addresses, making it simpler for network administrators and IT professionals to communicate information about IP addresses, troubleshoot networking issues, and manage network connections.

How do I convert binary to Dotted Decimal Notation?

When converting an IPv4 address from binary to dotted decimal notation, divide the 32-bit binary number into four groups of eight bits each. Then, convert each octet from binary to decimal and separate the decimal values with periods. For example, the binary number “11000000.10101000.00000001.00000001” would translate to “”.

What is the difference between Dotted Decimal Notation and CIDR Notation?

While both Dotted Decimal Notation and Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) Notation represent IPv4 addresses, CIDR Notation includes additional information about the subnet mask with a slash followed by the number of bits in the subnet mask. CIDR Notation is useful for defining the size of a subnet and identifying IP address ranges in a more concise format. An example of an IPv4 address in CIDR Notation is “”, where 24 denotes the subnet mask.

Can I use Dotted Decimal Notation for IPv6 addresses?

Dotted Decimal Notation is specific to IPv4 addresses. For IPv6 addresses, which have 128 bits instead of 32, a different notation format called “colon hex notation” is used. In colon hex notation, IPv6 addresses are divided into eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, separated by colons. An example of an IPv6 address is “2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334”.

Related Technology Terms

Five terms related to Dotted Decimal Notation are:

  • IPv4 Addressing
  • Subnet Mask
  • Classful Network
  • Network Address
  • Byte Serialization

Sources for More Information

  • Network World:
  • GeeksforGeeks:
  • Computer Hope:
  • Techopedia:

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