What is Subnet Mask? – Definition, Functions, And More (2023)
Definition Subnet Mask
The IP address is the address assigned to you by your ISP, companies that provide Internet access such as Telephone, Vodafone, etc.. It serves to identify you on the Internet when you connect. You cannot surf the net without an IP, and no web page can be online if it does not have an associated IP, since the time you type in a web address, what the browser does is translate it to its IP address to find and connect to the server where it is.
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IP is used to identify you in an internet environment, but by itself, it would not work correctly. This protocol address requires a subnet mask to be able to review the differences between several devices placed on the same wireless network inside your home or office.
To understand it in a better way, you have a Tablet with an address 184.108.40.206, a mobile with an address 192.168.1.2, and a game console with the address 192.168.1.3. At first glance, you find it the same, but the subnet mask will help differentiate.
The subnet mask, in a nutshell, helps identify those addresses with the naked eye the same with a code that will allow you to read them more easily. It is composed of value 255 for what is equal and value 0 when it differs. It is somewhat similar to 255.255.255.0.
Operation of the Subnet Mask according to the example
We start from the address 192.168.1.24. If we have a 255.255.255.0 subnet mask, it means that all addresses will have 192.168.1 as a fixed part. And the last octet will be that it will present the variation. That is, from 192.168.1.0 to 192.168.1.255. The first address is to identify the network, while the last one is for broadcast addresses.
According to the data offered, the network will go from 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.1.255. That is, we will have two subnets with up to a total of 255 devices each. The first address is to identify the network, while the last one will be the one that represents the broadcast to all devices.
If you still have doubts, thanks to this subnet calculator. You can see in more detail how the calculation is performed based on the subnet mask and how many are the available subnets.
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