What is an ASN and How Does It Work?

Could someone please explain what an ASN is, how it works, and why most people have it? I tried googling and gained some understanding, but I need an answer from someone who already owns an ASN.

Friendly note: Please ignore my thread if you're not interested in my question

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  • host_chost_c Hosting Provider

    ASN, think of it as a Router Serial number/unique identifier in BGP. each router that participates in the global BGP has a unique number ( ASN )

    So you only need one, if you wish to publish IP subnets in the global BGP. Subnets can be either owned or rented.

    If you do not have a BGP, your ISP can publish the subnets on your behalf also. ( but you are bound by a contract with him )

    Those who do Hosting usually get their own ASN so they can have the freedom to publish whatever whit whom they have upstream.

    It is not mandatory for a provider to have it's own ASN or IP subnet, but eventually everybody gets there, as no one wants to depend it's infrastructure on rented ASN/IP/BGP publishes.

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  • Most people do not have an ASN, so you don't need to think you are missing out on things.

    ASN (Autonomous System Number) is just a number in a database somewhere that is attached to your personal information (or your company's, if you have one), just like your Driver License Number or your National ID number.

    With an ASN you can buy or lease IPv4 or IPv6 and announce them to your ISP and the IPs will be attached to you. Some call it "browsing the internet naked" as your information is available to anyone who has your IP address. There is no hiding behind an ISP because YOU are your own ISP.

    Seriously, if you are thinking about getting one because others have one, DON'T. Learn about how the internet REALLY works first.

    The all seeing eye sees everything...

  • Cloudflare has a really good and easy explanation of it: https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/network-layer/what-is-an-autonomous-system/

    And no, most people do not have an ASN, most people are completely unaware of the existence of ASN's since it does not concern them at all.

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  • List of people who don't have ASN:

    • my mother
    • my father
    • my grandpa
    • my uncle
    • my uncle's wife
    • my aunt

    List of people who have ASN:

    The ASN identifies us on the global Internet as the cool kids, which allows us to enforce unique routing policies and sometimes obtain free IXP VMs.

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  • cserverscservers Hosting Provider

    Plus, having an ASN can allow you to have several IPv6 addresses given to you for next to nothing compared to IPv4, which is quite cool. :)

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  • edited March 5


    1) What an ASN is:

    ASN is like a callsign for your amateur radio station.

    It's also treated as a license number you can use to connect to Internet as an independent entity.

    There are groups of people or organizations playing a game called "BGP", and the ASN is their game account.

    2) How it works:

    First, you need to know how Internet works,
    Internet is actually the BGP game players who connecting their own network to each other.

    When they connect with each other, they use a protocol which is called BGP. And inside it, they say these thing to each other:

    a) who are them
    (for their identity verify: this is ASN)

    b) which subsets of ip addresses they have on their side
    (announcing v4/v6 prefixes)

    c) some other infomation

    So you already know that to proof their legal identity, they need to get verified and given a number (which is called ASN)

    There is a TOP game master called IANA, it permits 5 game masters across our world to manage different areas, they are called:

    afrinic - Africa
    apnic - Mostly Asia
    arin - Mostly US
    lacnic - Latin America
    ripe ncc - EU and its around

    You can get yourself verified and given an identity number from them. This is just like registering a game account.

    3) Why most people have it:

    No no, only the "BGP" game players have it.

    If you found most of people have it, you may in a tech group which are made of skilled technician/geekers/crazy guys...

    Feel free to ask more if you still confused.

    And if you interested in getting your own ASN, as a LIR I could help.

  • @terrorgen said: Some call it "browsing the internet naked"

    @rcy026 said: most people do not have an ASN

    Gleaning pics from the 'Netz, those two statements are contradictionary. Hardly any of my search results return people with clothes on. It must just be people with ASN's, then :-P

  • @wankel said:

    @terrorgen said: Some call it "browsing the internet naked"

    @rcy026 said: most people do not have an ASN

    Gleaning pics from the 'Netz, those two statements are contradictionary. Hardly any of my search results return people with clothes on. It must just be people with ASN's, then :-P

    Seems like you don't understand metaphor.

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    The all seeing eye sees everything...

  • What it is:
    A unique ID for a group of internet networks with a common routing policy.

    How it works:
    ASNs are used by the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) to exchange information about how to route data packets across the internet. BGP relies on ASNs to identify different networks and choose the most efficient path for data to travel.

    Why most people don't have one:
    ASNs are typically needed by organizations that manage their own internet routing, not everyday internet users. So, an individual home user wouldn't typically have an ASN. They rely on their ISP's ASN for internet access.

    Thanked by (1)lowendspiritxdax
  • Thank you for your valuable insight, DiwkarGPT.

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