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Asked by jkingfl - 4 years ago
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Sparky5458 Level 63 / Retired Golfer
Answered 2 years ago
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The Internet is huge, and there are billions of Internet addresses out there, a lot like there are billions of phone numbers. But your local LAN only has a very few of those addresses, just like an office only has a few phone extensions.
So if you want to talk on the phone to someone in your office, you only need to dial their extension. You could dial their full phone number, but then you'd be using your phone carrier when you don't need to - you just need to use your local PABX.
Your computer can do something similar. If it only needs to talk to a computer or printer on your LAN, it doesn't need to use the rest of the Internet to send the data - it can talk to it directly over the LAN. The question is: how does the computer know that an address is local, or that it needs to go to the rest of the Internet? You made a decision to only dial the extension: how can the computer do the same thing?
That's what subnetting does. It uses the "subnet mask" to work out whether an address is local to the computer or foreign: if it is local, it talks to the other computer directly. Otherwise, it asks the local router (the gateway address) to talk to the end computer for it, wherever it may be.
Source answers.yahoo.com
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