Subnetting in my experience, is one of the hardest concepts and skills to master in networking. It requires that you have a firm grasp of arithmetic ie addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and exponents, a bit of algebra (for example it's helpful to understand the concept of a variable) and binary math. Then you throw in the networking parts of it, which are the subnet mask, different types of addresses… YIKES!

Learning subnetting for the first time can be overwelming but it doesn't have to be. I have a proven system that works where I break down the individual parts of learning how to subnet into concise lessons that are driven to get you to understand subnetting quickly and easily.

First is teaching basic math: how to add, subtract, multiply, and exponents. Once you have a firm grasp on the basics, the second part I show you is the exponential values of base 2. Ie 2^n or 2n.exponent values of 2 ie 2x2x2... is the introduction to binary math. Thrid, I explain that binary is what all computers process, including all networking equipment, so understanding exactly what is going on inside the CPU is essential. Understanding why is a key component to you caring about the material and leads to better absorption of the material. Now that you understand why we are using binary it’s time to teach you how to count in binary. Forth, once you are comforable with counting in binary I explain how to convert from base 10 or decimal, (dec- ten like your fingers.) to binary (bi- meaning 2 ie zero or one/ on or off as in electrical signals).

Subnetting is essentially 2 things. It is counting and division. The counting part I’ve already discussed. Let’s turn our attention to division. Imagine you have a pie. And you have robot who can perfectly divide this pie into pieces. I actually bring a pie tin or use one of yours to show you this. How many pieces do you have? How many people are you serving? Your requirements dictate the usage of the resources, pie and networks. They are the same. All you have to do is tell your robot to slice the pie into the ammount of slices (subnets) that you need. this analogy works well for number of subnets but to really understand we have to use candy as an analogy for IP addresses. I explain all technical terms and jargon fully in my sessions. Just know that every device that connects to a network needs one to be able to connect.

Imagine you have a big pile of candy. You have exactly 232 pieces of candy. It’s a lot of candy. About 4 billion pieces. You say to yourself only my computer friends like this kind of candy, so we’ll never ever run out of candy... (more on this in a future post)

So you want to split it between your friends. You have a lot of friends, think like the whole world. But they can only have one piece of candy each. So you start splitting it up into groups to be dispursed. Dividing the candy in half each time so everyone gets a fair share. Every time you divide the piles in half you gain more piles and the piles get smaller and smaller as you go. Some groups are really big so they need lots ofpieces of candy, like giant corporations, and government, and some groups are really small, like your household, so they obviously need much fewer, per that group. Depending on the size of the group tells you how you have to divide the candy.

That is subnetting in a “candy coated” nutshell. For more detailed information please contact me to set up an appointment for subnetting lessons. Thanks for reading!


Ian F.

Make IT simple

20+ hours
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