I need IP Addressing explained in brief

When looking at an IP address, I would like to be more familiar with how to determine some BASIC criteria about that address.

I know there are some things you can tell from just the number alone and so I first want to know only the basics.

For Instance:
Is the number Internal or External
What are the various ranges and what are the generalities I need to be aware of?
It's hard/fast rules I am after.
tedpennerAsked:
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NetAdmin2436Commented:
The following are private IP address. These are internal network numbers. You will have one of these numbers on your computers in your LAN.  
10.0.0.0 through 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 through 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255
169.254.0.0 through 169.254.255.255 (APIPA only)
http://compnetworking.about.com/od/workingwithipaddresses/f/privateipaddr.htm

All other IP address would be considered public IP address and are routable on the internet. These would be your external IP address(es). Small companies/homes will only have 1 external (WAN, public) address. This is the IP address of your default gateway (router/firewall, DSL modem, cable modem, or whatever is the device that directly connects to your incoming ISP line)

Hope this helps.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_network
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NetAdmin2436Commented:
Also, you want to be familiar with DHCP when talking about IP address.
Your DHCP server gives out these internal (LAN) IP addresses to your computers. A DHCP server could be your DC (domain controller) or any other server that has DHCP installed and configured. Also, some printers, routers, modems have DHCP capabilities. For simplicity, only have DHCP enabled and configured  on 1 device, otherwise you'll have big problems.

Your router/firewall, or modem will normally have a function called NAT (network address translation). That enables your private IP to look like it's coming from your public address when you visit the internet.
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tedpennerAuthor Commented:
Outstanding.
ANOTHER QUESTION:
I just made three pages in One Note based on your response.  That is EXACTLY what I wanted and I will expand my knowledge.  For expansion sake, when you say "range", I'm not clear how to make sense of that in my pea size (desktop support tech) brain.  Could you expand on the meaning of the word "range" a little further?

ANOTHER QUESTION:
To consolidate even further, would this be an accurate statement:
"It is generally considered, though not always the case given the range we talked about that if the IP starts with either 10, 172, 192, or 169, it's an internal IP"
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NetAdmin2436Commented:
<<Could you expand on the meaning of the word "range" a little further?
The range is simply all the valid IP addresses in the particular network. Range just means from 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255.
So it would include all network IP addresses
192.168.0.1
192.168.0.2
192.168.0.3
192.168.0.4
192.168.0.5
"
"
"
"
"
192.168.255.255


>"It is generally considered, though not always the case given the range we talked about that if the IP starts with either 10, 172, 192, or 169, it's an internal IP"

Yeah, i would agree with that. To be more technical, the 10, 172, 192, or 169 would be called the first octet of the ip address.  
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NetAdmin2436Commented:
Example...192.168.0.2

192 = first octet  
168 = second octet  
0 = third octet
2 = fourth 0ctet
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