Understanding classful networks

A network can be regarded as either of the following types:

  • Classful networks
  • Classless networks

A classful network always has a predefined number of bits allocated to the network element of the IP address, and therefore a predefined subnet mask. Classful networks also allow us to easily identify a network's class from its IP address and are relatively easy to configure. However, the problem with using classful networks, as you will see, is that they do not provide efficient use of IP addresses.

Classless networks do away with the boundaries of predefined network elements and subnets and offer us a degree of flexibility, thus allowing for a more efficient use of IP addresses. Their downside is that they can ...

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