Articles Tagged ‘Subnetting’

Network Protocols

The Protocols section deals with various network protocols found in today's networks.  The aim of this section is to help understand the fundamentals of network protocols, how they work, where they are used and in which way they all work together to provide reliability and functionality for our applications, services and users.

Protocols such as TCP, IP, ICMP others are analysed in greater depth and therefore a dedicated sub-section has been provided, while other protocols are analysed on a single article with compromising its quality.


Our popular Networking section is well-known for the variety of high-quality articles covering topics such as Network Protocols, OSI Model, IPv4 & IPv6 addressing, Subnetting, Routing, Routing protocols, CIDR-Supernettting, Ethernet technologies, VLAN Networks, Virtual Trunk Protocol (VTP), Network Address Translation (NAT), Firewalls, WAN Technologies and much more.

All articles make use of our award-winning diagrams and contain illustrations aimed to help make the learning process as easy as possible no matter how complex the topic might be.

We hope you enjoy this section and manage to master all information included.


Subnetting is a very interesting and important topic. It's most possible that most of you have heard about it or have some idea what it's all about. For those who haven't dealt with subnets before... hang in there because you're not alone! Keep in mind we also have our website's forums where you can post questions or read up on other people's questions and answers. It's an excellent source of information and we highly recommend them!

For some reason a lot of people consider Subnetting to be a difficult subject, which is true to some extent and especially for people who are new to the networking world.  Readers will be interested in knowing that mastering Subnetting is not all that difficult - it simply requires time, practice and a lot of patience.

A world of advice

If you started reading the IP protocol on this site from the begining and have understood everything, then you won't have any problem understanding subnetting... however if on the other hand readers feel like that could use a refreshing on their networking basics, we would highly advise visiting the IP Protocol section under Protocols to help them revise the necessary theory which is the foundation of Subnetting.

Subnetting on is broken into 5 sections. Each section tackles a specific area and also provides the basic understanding for the next topic. Logically, as you move on to higher sections, the concepts and complexity will increase.

  • Section 1: Basic Subnetting Concepts. This section is to help you understand what a subnet really is. Introduction to the Default Subnet masks is covered at first and then you get to see and learn how the network is affected by changing the subnet mask.

  • Section 2: Subnet Masks and Their Effect. Here we will look at the Default Subnet mask in a bit more detail and introduce a few new concepts. Classless and Classful IP Addresses are covered here and you get to learn how the subnet mask affects them.

  • Section 3: The Subnet Mask Bits. Detailed analysis of subnet mask bits. Learn to recognise the number of bits in a subnet mask, followed by an introduction to complex subnets.
  • Section 4: Routing and Communications between Subnets. Understand how routers deal with subnets, how computers which are in different subnets can communicate with each other, along with a few general notes on subnetting that you should know.

  • Section 5: Subnetting Guidelines. Some last information to help you plan your new networks and a few things to keep in mind so you can avoid future problems with subnets.

Supernetting & CIDR

Supernetting, also known as Classless InterDomain Routing (CIDR), is another awesome subject. It exists thanks to the wide adoption of the Internet, which lead to the exhaustion of the available IP Addresses. More specifically, supernetting was invented in 1993 with the purpose of extending the 32 bit IP address lifetime until the adoption of IPv6 was complete.

Putting it as simply as possible, supernets are used to combine multiple Class C networks into groups, which the router, in turn, treats as one big network. It might not seem like a smart thing to do, but if you look at the picture on a larger scale you will notice some of the really awesome advantages this offers.

The creation of Supernets is also known as Address Aggregation.

The sections below analyse Supernetting and CIDR, both which are extremely important to understand since they are used by all ISP's and large networks.

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