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Subnetting is the strategy used to partition a single physical network into more than one smaller logical sub-networks (subnets). An IP address includes a network segment and a host segment. Subnets are designed by accepting bits from the IP address's host part and using these bits to assign a number of smaller sub-networks inside the original network. Subnetting allows an organization to add sub-networks without the need to acquire a new network number via the Internet service provider (ISP). Subnetting helps to reduce the network traffic and conceals network complexity. Subnetting is essential when a single network number has to be allocated over numerous segments of a local area network (LAN).
Subnets were initially designed for solving the shortage of IP addresses over the Internet.
Each IP address consists of a subnet mask. All the class types, such as Class A, Class B and Class C include the subnet mask known as the default subnet mask. The subnet mask is intended for determining the type and number of IP addresses required for a given local network. The firewall or router is called the default gateway. The default subnet mask is as follows:
The subnetting process allows the administrator to divide a single Class A, Class B, or Class C network number into smaller portions. The subnets can be subnetted again into sub-subnets.
Dividing the network into a number of subnets provides the following benefits: