16.2 Queries for IP Networks

The RIPE Database provides information about IP networks allocated or assigned within the RIPE NCC service region. This information is mainly stored as inetnum, inet6num, route and route6 objects. These objects store information about a single IP address or ranges of addresses.

The route and route6 objects use prefix notation to specify the single address or range of addresses about which they contain information.

The inetnum objects represent an IPv4 address space in range notation. The inet6num objects represent IPv6 address space in standard prefix notation.

When you query the RIPE Database for information about IP addresses, you can specify query arguments with the following notations:

  • A prefix (IPv4 or IPv6).
  • An explicit range (IPv4 only).
  • A single IP address. This is interpreted as a range of just one address. For IPv4, this can be written in range notation using the same start and end address. It could also be written as a single address. For IPv6, this has a prefix length of 128 or again it could also be written as a single address.

For IPv4 address space, the query argument can be specified with either prefix or range notation. When prefix notation is used, the database software converts this into range notation before it executes the query. An information message is included in the query response showing the conversions performed. For IPv6 address space, the query argument can only be specified in prefix notation. The single IP address is accepted as a short hand notation for a prefix.

There is a list of queries for IP networks in the "Tables of Query Types Supported by the RIPE Database" in the RIPE Database Query Reference Manual.

There are a number of options that describe how you can retrieve different types of information relative to a particular range of IP addresses (IPv4 or IPv6) including more and less specific queries.