The limitations on the IPv4 networks have led to the creation of Subnet masks. Through specific processes, the subnet mask can be used for isolating the IP addresses. Get insights on subnet masks and how they work.

A subnet mask  consists of bit patterns. These are used to distinguish and isolate precise parts of an IP (Internet Protocol) address.

subnet masks

How the Mask Works

When the mask is set on an Internet protocol address, the host address of the network interface is generated. The network routing prefix is produced too. The routing prefix is also known as the subnetwork or the subnet. These masks are utilized by the hardware and network application. These manage and isolate parts of the network.

The subnet can be added on a network interface IP address. This will be the subnet’s beginning address where the interface is set. The host identifier makes up the other portion of the IP address. The IP Version

4 (IPv4) mask is conveyed by 4 octets in decimal notations that are dotted.

For example, you can think of the 192.164.178.5 IP address with the 255.255.255.0 as the mask. In this example, the subnet starting point is 192.164.178.0; this is also the routing prefix. The host identifier here is 5.

Subnet mask math can be difficult for humans to work with, but a good  subnet calculator  can make it far easier.

 The Routing Prefix

This is conveyed as the Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) notation.

This means putting a slash after the prefix. Bits are placed after the prefix. In the case of 255.255.255.0, it comes with 24 bits. If the mask is set to the 192.164.178.5 IPv4 address, the CIDR notation prefix is 192.164.178.0/24.

IPv4 Networks

The CIDR notation is also utilized with the IPv4 networks, addresses with similar routing prefixes are on similar subnets. These are on the same connections or physical networks. These are at the back of a router.

The subnet here is made up of various network switches, bridges and parts. The IP packets for other routes are transmitted by the connected router to the present routing prefix. For IPv6 networks, addresses with similar prefixes are not always on the same connection.

Other Information about Subnet Masks

The idea of the subnet came out in the early 1990s. It was introduced at the same time as the CIDR. Prior to it, the IP address four high-order bits were used to determine the addresses.

The class was used to get the routing prefix bits. This was also used to get the host identifier. In this case, a subnet was not required. This kind of architecture is called a classful network.

What is Subnetting?

Subnetting is the term used when subnets are utilized to separate a network. This is necessary because IPv4 network space is finite. This makes subnetting ideal for use in big networks. The IPv6 networks have larger spaces by comparison.

The facts about subnet masks will show that they can also be used for smaller networks. They can also be used with Ethernet and other networks.