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# NETWORKING

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## Subnetting a Class C network address

By Todd Lammle May 24, 2001, 12:00 AM PST

Subnetting a Class C network can be a tricky process to master. From MCSE to CCNA to RHCE to CNE, you'll have to know it and know it well. Todd Lammle walks you through clear instructions and step-by-step examples to help you learn this skill.

Once the subnet is determined, the broadcast address must be found. Why? Because these are not valid host addresses and cannot be assigned to host configurations. Also, by determining the subnet and broadcast addresses, we can easily determine the host addresses because the valid host range is always the numbers between the subnet address and the broadcast address.

If we use the default subnet mask with a Class C network address, then we already know that three bytes are used to define the network and only one byte is used to define the hosts on each network. The default Class C mask is: 255.255.255.0. To make smaller networks, called subnetworks, we will borrow bits from the host portion of the mask. Since the Class C mask only uses the last octet for host addressing, we only have 8 bits at our disposal. Therefore, only the following masks can be used with Class C networks (Table A). Subset zero Take note that in the table below I do not assume subnet zero. Cisco does teach a subnet zero assumption but they do not test that way. I have chosen to follow the exam.

necessary information if youve memorized key parts of the table. First, you need to know your binary-to-decimal conversion. Memorize the number of bits used with each mask that are shown in Table A. Second, you need to remember the following: 256-192=64 256-224=32 256-240=16 256-248=8 256-252=4 Once you have the two steps memorized, you can begin subnetting. Our first example will use the Class C mask of 255.255.255.192. Ask five simple questions to gather all the facts: 1. How many subnet bits are used in this mask? 2. How many host bits are available per subnet? 3. What are the subnet addresses? 4. What is the broadcast address of each subnet? 5. What is the valid host range of each subnet?

Lets do a second example using the Class C mask of 255.255.255.224. Here are the answers:

Answer: The valid hosts are the numbers in between the subnet and broadcast addresses. For example, the 32 subnet valid hosts are 33-38.

are the subnet, broadcast address and host range this host is a member of? The answer is: 256-192=64, 128. This host is in the 64 subnet, the broadcast address of the 64 subnet is 127, and the valid host range must be 65-126. Conclusion It is important to be able to subnet quickly and efficiently. After studying the examples presented in this Daily Drill Down, you should be familiar with this process with Class C addresses. Practice your subnetting as much as possible, and the process will get easier and easier. In my next Daily Drill Down, Ill take subnetting a step further and discuss subnetting a Class B network address.