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An IP address has two components, 
  • network address 
  • host address
A subnet mask separates the IP address into the network and host addresses (<network><host>). 

Subnetting further divides the host part of an IP address into a subnet and host address (<network><subnet><host>), if additional subnetwork is needed. 

Use the Subnet Calculator to retrieve subnetwork information from IP address and Subnet Mask. It is called a subnet mask because it is used to identify network address of an IP address by perfoming a bitwise AND operation on the netmask.

A Subnet mask is a 32-bit number that masks an IP address, and divides the IP address into network address and host address.