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Subnetting Class C Addresses


  • How many hosts per subnet? 2y – 2 = number of hosts per subnet. y is the number of unmasked bits, or the 0s. For example, in 11000000, the number of zeros gives us 26 – 2 hosts. In this example, there are 62 hosts per subnet. You need to subtract two for the sub- net address and the broadcast address, which are not valid hosts.

  • What are the valid subnets? 256 – subnet mask = block size, or increment number. An example would be 256 – 192 = 64. The block size of a 192 mask is always 64. Start count- ing at zero in blocks of 64 until you reach the subnet mask value and these are your subnets. 0, 64, 128, 192. Easy, huh? Yes—that is, if you can count in the needed block size!

  • What’s the broadcast address for each subnet? Now here’s the really easy part… Since we counted our subnets in the last section as 0, 64, 128, and 192, the broadcast address is always the number right before the next subnet. For example, the 0 subnet has a broadcast address of 63 because the next subnet is 64. The 64 subnet has a broadcast address of 127 because the next subnet is 128, etc. And remember, the broadcast of the last subnet (the subnet with the same interesting octets as the mask) is always 255 for Class C.

  • What are the valid hosts? Valid hosts are the numbers between the subnets, omitting all the 0s and all 1s. For example, if 64 is the subnet number and 127 is the broadcast address, then 65–126 is the valid host range—it’s always the numbers between the subnet address and the broadcast address.

I know this can truly seem confusing. But it really isn’t as hard as it seems to be at first—just hang in there! Why not try a few and see for yourself?

Subnetting Practice Examples: Class C Addresses

Here’s your opportunity to practice subnetting Class C addresses using the method I just described. Exciting, isn’t it! We’re going to start with the first Class C subnet mask and work through every subnet that we can using a Class C address. When we’re done, I’ll show you how easy this is with Class A and B networks too!

Practice Example #1C: (/26)

Let’s use the Class C subnet mask from the preceding example,, to see how much simpler this method is than writing out the binary numbers. We’re going to subnet the net- work address and subnet mask = Network address = Subnet mask Now, let’s answer the big five:

  • How many subnets? Since 192 is 2 bits on (11000000), the answer would be 22.

  • How many hosts per subnet? We have 6 host bits off (11000000), so the equation would be 26 – 2 = 62 hosts.

  • What are the valid subnets? 256 – 192 = 64. Remember, we start at zero and count in our block size, so our subnets are 0, 64, 128, and 192.

  • What’s the broadcast address for each subnet? The number right before the value of the next subnet is all host bits turned on and equals the broadcast address.

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