An IP address is an address utilized to recognize a machine on an IP network. It is just like the real address of your house. The address is formed of 32 bits. It can be divided into a network share and a host share with the aid of a subnet mask. The 32 bits are split into four octets (8 bits per octet). Each octet is transformed into a decimal and divided by a (dot).

For this purpose, an IP address is assumed to be represented in a dotted-decimal form. For example, is an IP address that is represented in a dotted-decimal format. The value in each octet varies from 0 to 255 decimal, or 00000000 – 11111111 binary. This post is all you need to know about IP addresses and masks.

  1. What is Subnet Mask?
  2. IPv4 and Subnet Mask
  3. How do IP Address Masks work?

IP Address Masks

What is Subnet Mask?

As mentioned earlier, every machine has an IP address with two sections: the host address and the network address. IP addresses are either manually configured or by using a DHCP server. A DHCP is a network server that implicitly or automatically gives and allocates IP addresses. The subnet mask divides the IP address into the host and network addresses. The purpose is to specify which portion of the IP address refers to the device and which portion refers to the network.

Now, a subnet mask is a 32-bit and it is formed by configuring host bits to only 0s and connecting network bits to all 1s. In this style, the subnet mask divides the IP address into the host and network addresses. It is important to understand that the “255” address is allocated to a telecast address.

On the other hand, the “0” address is allocated to a network address and they can never be allocated to hosts, as they are saved for these special designs. Now, for a transmitting machine to send data to a receiving machine, the sender requires to understand where the target is. The address will either be on the corresponding subnetwork as the root or on another subnetwork.

IPv4 and Subnet Mask

Subnetting is the method to split the bigger network into various smaller networks called subnets. As mentioned earlier, always save an IP address to recognize the subnet and another one to recognize the broadcast address within the subnet. Subnetting is more effective and would save a comprehensive number of addresses. The more modest networks, hence, formed smaller broadcast that causes more limited broadcast traffic. Moreover, the subnet also analyzes defect troubleshooting by separating network obstacles down to their particular existence.

Now, in the case of IPv4, as a component of the subnetting method, you require to choose a network-wide netmask. The netmask defines how many bits in the host describe the subnet number and how many describe the host number. So, based on the address range, a maximum of 24 bits and a minimum of 8 bits can be possible for describing the host address. The netmask is defined in the netmasks database.

How do IP Address Masks work?

Each subnet enables its associated machines to interact with each other, while routers are utilized to interact within subnets. The capacity of a subnet is based on the link conditions and the network applied. A point-to-point subnet enables two machines to combine, while a center subnet might be created to combine many more machines.

For example, each company is accountable for defining the number and scope of the subnets it plans, within the boundaries of the address scope possible for its application. Also, the features of a subnet within a company continue to be confined to that group. The following is the example calculated using IP Calculator:

Address: 11000000.10101000.00000000 .00000001
Netmask: = 24 11111111.11111111.11111111 .00000000
Wildcard: 00000000.00000000.00000000 .11111111
Network: 11000000.10101000.00000000 .00000000 (Class C)
Broadcast: 11000000.10101000.00000000 .11111111
HostMin: 11000000.10101000.00000000 .00000001
HostMax: 11000000.10101000.00000000 .11111110
Hosts/Net: 254

Each group has a restricted number of the host; for instance, networks that have more than 254 machines require a Class B allocation. If a network administrator is operating with a Class B or C network and wants to designate 150 hosts for three dynamic networks placed in three towns, they would want to either demand more address slabs for each system — or split a network into subnets that allow them to apply one slab of addresses on various networks. A subnet can also be divided into smaller subnets. This gives companies the adaptability to produce shorter subnets for anything like point-to-point connections or for subnetworks that hold a few machines.


IP Subnet masks enable network administrators to decrease network-wide security threats by isolating breached segments of the network and by creating it more challenging for attackers to explore the company’s network.