Friday, August 12, 2011

What is Subnet and Subnet Mask?

Subnet:A subnet (short for "subnetwork") is an identifiably separate part of an organization's network. Typically, a subnet may represent all the machines at one geographic location, in one building, or on the same local area network (LAN). Having an organization's network divided into subnets allows it to be connected to the Internet with a single shared network address. Without subnets, an organization could get multiple connections to the Internet, one for each of its physically separate subnetworks, but this would require an unnecessary use of the limited number of network numbers the Internet has to assign. It would also require that Internet routing tables on gateways outside the organization would need to know about and have to manage routing that could and should be handled within an organization.

A subnet is a also logical grouping of connected network devices. Nodes on a subnet tend to be located in close physical proximity to each other on a LAN. Network designers employ subnets as a way to partition networks into logical segments for greater ease of administration. When subnets are properly implemented, both the performance and security of networks can be improved.

Subnet Mask:
A mask used to determine what subnet an IP address belongs to. An IP address has two components, the network address and the host address. For example, consider the IP address Assuming this is part of a Class B network, the first two numbers (150.215) represent the Class B network address, and the second two numbers (017.009) identify a particular host on this network.

Subnetting enables the network administrator to further divide the host part of the address into two or more subnets. In this case, a part of the host address is reserved to identify the particular subnet. This is easier to see if we show the IP address in binary format. The full address is:


The Class B network part is:


and the host address is


If this network is divided into 14 subnets, however, then the first 4 bits of the host address (0001) are reserved for identifying the subnet.

The subnet mask is the network address plus the bits reserved for identifying the subnetwork. (By convention, the bits for the network address are all set to 1, though it would also work if the bits were set exactly as in the network address.) In this case, therefore, the subnet mask would be 11111111.11111111.11110000.00000000. It's called a mask because it can be used to identify the subnet to which an IP address belongs by performing a bitwise AND operation on the mask and the IP address. The result is the subnetwork address:
Subnet Mask 11111111.11111111.11110000.00000000
IP Address 10010110.11010111.00010001.00001001
Subnet Address 10010110.11010111.00010000.00000000

The subnet address, therefore, is

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Hina Rabbani Khar

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Unicast:Unicast traffic is traffic addressed to a single device on the network.Unicast packets are sent from host to host. The communication is from a single host to another single host. There is one device transmitting a message destined for one reciever.Unicast uses IP delivery methods such as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which are session-based protocols. When a Windows Media Player client connects using unicast to a Windows Media server, that client has a direct relationship to the server.

Multicast:Multicast is a special protocol for use with IP. Multicast enables a single device to communicate with a specific set of hosts, not defined by any standard IP address and mask combination. This allows for communication that resembles a conference call.Multicast is a true broadcast. The multicast source relies on multicast-enabled routers to forward the packets to all client subnets that have clients listening. There is no direct relationship between the clients and Windows Media server. The Windows Media server generates an .nsc (NetShow channel) file when the multicast station is first created. Typically, the .nsc file is delivered to the client from a Web server.

Broadcast:Broadcast is when a single device is transmitting a message to all other devices in a given address range. This broadcast could reach all hosts on the subnet, all subnets, or all hosts on all subnets. Broadcast packets have the host (and/or subnet) portion of the address set to all ones. By design, most modern routers will block IP broadcast traffic and restrict it to the local subnet.