A network is a collection interconnected servers or computers that communicate and share resources amongst each other.

A network allows for communication and collaboration among servers as well as transmitting and sharing data.

There are several types of networks:

  • Local Area Network (LAN): network within a small geographical area and a connection to the same network switch or router.
  • Wide Area Network (WAN): network within a larger geographical area and a connection of LANs within different locations. The Internet is a global WAN.
  • Wireless Network (Wi-Fi): Network where servers are connected through LAN or the Internet without physical cables.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN): Network that is secure and encrypted over a public network. It allows for secure remote access.
  • Cloud: Network provided by a cloud provider. The virtual networks connect to cloud-based resources, services, and datacenter(s).
  • Protocol: Network communication relies on protocols such as TCP/IP and ensures data is transmitted reliably and efficiently.

Networks can have different topologies which define how servers physically or logically connect to one another.

Public Network

A public network is open to all users such as the Internet or Wi-Fi in public places such as a cafe. The Internet is the biggest public network. Wi-Fi within public places may require the user to login in to have access and may have rules on how the network is used.

The public network is less secure compared to a private network.

Private Network

A private network is restricted to certain users or devices as it requires authorization. This network may require firewalls and encryption to protect the network. There may be rule that protect sensitive data within the network.

Network Size

Network size is the size of the VPC network. When configuring the private IP range, you can also customize the size of the network. The offered network sizes: /28 (16 usable IP addresses) to /16 (65536 usable IP addresses). The default size is /20 (4096 usable IP addresses).

You cannot resize VPC networks. If you need to resize your network, create a new VPC network and migrate resources to the new network.

When choosing the network size of your VPC, calculate the resources connecting to the network and estimate the total resources you intend to add to it in the future. A network size that is unnecessarily large may affect the network’s performance. However, when considering a smaller network, you should consider the possibility and amount of growth your network may experience. If you are using automation to add and remove resources from the network, then a network that is larger would cover the possibility of spikes in usage.

You can use this table to determine how many usable IPs are available for a specific CIDR prefix on DigitalOcean.

Network Size (CIDR Suffix) Number of Usable IP Addresses
/16 65536
/17 32768
/18 16384
/19 8192
/20 4096
/21 2048
/22 1024
/23 512
/24 256
/28 16

Network Range

Network range is the possible range of decimal values for the first byte of a network number. Network ranges depend on the type of class the network is part of.

When creating a DigitalOcean VPC network, the address range prefix controls for the network range and associates with a customizable network size.

DigitalOcean VPC provides several IP address ranges allocated for private networking purposes (RFC 1918):

  • –
  • –
  • –

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