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Published by: askmeagain on Apr 21, 2008
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Certifications: Subnetting Made Easy - written for my students at work 
Posted by:lordflasheart - Product Manager and Support Technician, British Telecommunications plc Oct 17, 2007, 4:51am PST
An IP address is made up of 32 bits, split into 4 octets. Some bits are reserved for identifying thenetwork and the other bits are left to identify the host.There are 3 main classes of IP address that we are concerned with.Class A Range 0 - 127 in the first octet (0 and 127 are, however, reserved)Class B Range 128 - 191 in the first octetClass C Range 192 - 223 in the first octetBelow shows you how, for each class, the address is split in terms of network (N) and host (H) portions. NNNNNNNN . HHHHHHHH . HHHHHHHH . HHHHHHHH Class A Address NNNNNNNN . NNNNNNNN . HHHHHHHH . HHHHHHHH Class B Address NNNNNNNN . NNNNNNNN . NNNNNNNN . HHHHHHHH Class C AddressAt each dot I like to think that there is a boundary, therefore there are boundaries after bits 8, 16, 24,and 32. This is an important concept to remember.Typical questions you may see are those asking what a host range is for a specific address or whichsubnet a certain address is located on. I shall run through examples of each, for each class of IPaddress.What subnet does belong to?You may wonder where to begin. Well to start with let's find the next boundary of this address.Our mask is a /29. The next boundary is 32. So 32 - 29 = 3. Now 2^3 = 8 which gives us our block size.We have borrowed from the last octet as the 29th bit is in the last octet. We start from zero and countup in our block size. Therefore it follows that the subnets are:- address is so it must sit on the subnet.What subnet does sit on?
Our mask is /19 and our next boundary is 24. Therefore 24 - 19 = 5. The block size is 2^5 = 32.We have borrowed into the third octet as bit 19 is in the third octet so we count up our block size inthat octet. The subnets are:- address is so it must sit on the subnet. Easy eh?What subnet does sit on?Our mask is 12. Our next bounday is 16. Therefore 16 - 12 = 4. 2^4 = 16 which gives us our block size.We have borrowed from the second octet as bit 12 sits in the second octet so we count up the block sizein that octet. The subnets are:- address is which must sit on the subnet.We will now change the type of question so that we have to give a particular host range of a subnet.What is the valid host range of of the 4th subnet of as pie! The block size is 16 since 32 - 28 = 4 and 2^4 = 16. We need to count up in the block sizein the last octet as bit 28 is in the last octet. the 4th subnet is and the host range must be to,remembering that the subnet and broadcast address cannot be used.What is the valid host range of the 1st subnet of tells us that the block size is 24-17 = 7 and 2^7 = 128. We are borrowing in the 3rd octet as bit 17 isin the 3rd octet. Our subnets are:- first subnet is and the valid host range is to You mustremember not to include the subnet address ( and the broadcast address ( is the valid host range of the 7th subnet of address block size is 4, from 16 - 14 = 2 then 2^2 = 4. We are borrowing in the second octet so count in the block size from 0 seven times to get the seventh subnet.The seventh subnet is Our valid host range must be to againremebering not to include our subnet ( and the broadcast address (
Replied by:howtonetwork - Oct 18, 2007, 3:46am PST
Hi,That is a great explanation. Thanks for that. There is video below which makes it pretty simple:http://www.subnetting-secrets.com/easy_way_to_subnet.html Paul
Replied by:bchoi9999- Oct 20, 2007, 10:15pm PST
Here are some affordable learning resources:http://easysubnet.com/ http://www.subnettingquestions.com/custom/bren/
Replied by:quantico24- Oct 21, 2007, 7:45am PST
It's seems to be easy but I don't understand the term block size...And all the time when you have for example a /15 mask you count forward to the next boundary so it's 24-15=9 and 2^9=.....right???Do you have like a book about subnetting?Thank you ...
Replied by:lordflasheart- Product Manager and Support Technician, BritishTelecommunications plc - Oct 21, 2007, 10:36am PST

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