What Is My Subnet Mask?

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Hannah Barton answered
To find the subnet mask of the computer you are using go to Start -> Programmes -> Accessories -> Command Prompt. You will then be able to type in IPCONFIG and then press return. A pop-up box will then appear and under the header ‘Wireless Lan Adaptor Wireless Network Connection’, your Subnet Mask will be the fourth one down. It will consist of 10 numbers which are separated after every third number with a full stop. You will also be able to find your Link Local Address, your IP Address and your default gateway.

A subnet allows the flow of network traffic between hosts to be segregated based on a network configuration. By organizing hosts into logical groups, subnetting can improve network security and performance. Subnetting is the process of designating some high-order bits from the host part and grouping them with the network mask to form the subnet mask.

Perhaps the most recognizable aspect of subnetting is the subnet mask. Like IP addresses, a subnet mask contains four bytes (32 bits) and is often written using the same "dotted-decimal" notation. For example, a very common subnet mask in its binary representation 11111111 11111111 11111111 00000000. The benefits of subnetting vary with each deployment scenario. In the address allocation architecture of the Internet using Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) and in large organizations, it is necessary to allocate address space efficiently. It may also enhance routing efficiency, or have advantages in network management when subnetworks are administratively controlled by different entities in a larger organization. Subnets may be arranged logically in a hierarchical architecture, partitioning an organization's network address space into a tree-like routing structure.

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