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Definition - What does Subnetting mean?

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.

Techopedia explains Subnetting

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:

  • Class A:
  • Class B:
  • Class C:
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:

  • Reduces the network traffic by reducing the volume of broadcasts
  • Helps to surpass the constraints in a local area network (LAN), for example, the maximum number of permitted hosts.
  • Enables users to access a work network from their homes; there is no need to open the complete network.

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