How Many Subnets/Host Speed Practice 1

 In 200-301 V1 Ch13: IPv4 Subnet Masks, 200-301 V1 Part 4: IPv4 Addressing, CCENT-OLD, IPv4 Mask Drills

Friday (ok, well, late Thursday) this week for the subnet speed practice. Today’s variation: find the number of subnets possible, and number of hosts per subnet.

Suggestions BEFORE CLICKING to see the rest: be ready to start your timer. Be ready to finish all 5 problems.

Your job:  Based on a class A, B, or C network number, and a mask, with the assumption that the mask is used for all subnets in the network

  1. List the number of subnets that exist
  2. List the number of usable host IP addresses per subnet

You may assume that the zero and broadcast subnets are usable.

Ready… steady… go!








Subnetting Speed Practice #4: Answers
Answers: How Many Subnets/Hosts 1
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[…] last Friday’s speed practice? Sorry for the delay in posting the answers. They are below the fold. As usual, I’ve listed […]


Hi Wendell,
1) – for this address, the mask will be, the no. of subnets i got is 2. But your answer says, 512 subnets. How is it possible. Can u explain in detail. Thanks in advance.




Hi Vishnu,
I think you’re forgetting that the IP network is a class A network, which means it has 8 network bits. With a prefix of /17, there are 9 (17 – 8) subnet bits, and 2^9 =512. Maybe you were thinking of class B, with 16 network bits, leaving 1 subnet bit?


Hi Wendell,
I’m currently working through Chapter 15 in ICND1 100-105.
I’m currently reading about dividing a Classful into 3 parts and I’ve always been under the impression a Classful network is divided into 2 parts, Network and Host.
I think I may have finally understood this mistaking I’m making. Can you please confirm whether my assumption is correct..

A classful IP address e.g. Class A has a default subnet mask of but may always borrow host bits to create subnet bits and still remain classful.

It’s only when the Class uses less than it’s default subnet mask. e.g. a network would be classless but a would be classful.

Is this correct?


Hi Sam,
Actually, I think the struggle is in your use of the words “Classless” and “Classful”. Couple of points:

Many people in the industry use these terms to mean different things. So you may have learned something different from what I state in the book.

There’s no standards doc that I know of that defines the use of the terms (and I’ve looked).

I think to give you a full answer I’d be repeating what I wrote in the book. I don’t say that to just defer answering, but if you’re searching for a better understanding, I’d say to ignore all you have learned about the terms, and re-read that chapter without using any concepts you learned before about those terms. That’s probably the biggest hurdle.

EG, the book talks about how “classless addressing” is a way to think about addresses; “classful addressing” likewise is a way to think about addresses. That is, the addresses do not have some attribute attached to them that makes them one or the other. There’s nothing in the header that denotes the address as classless/classful. It’s just how you think about them. Sometimes it is useful to think about addresses with three parts, sometimes with two. You can think about the same address both ways both for useful purposes.

You think with classful addressing rules when it is useful to think about the addressing plan in terms of 1 classful network, subdivided into multiple subnets, so you need to know the differences between the size of the network and subnet parts of the address. EG, to take 1 network, use 1 mask, split it into 16 subnets, you must use classful addressing rules and ideas to think about those addresses. Alternately, you can think about classless addressing when you just care about the prefix as a whole, ignoring the line between the network and subnet parts. EG, take any IP address/mask off any device. You probably care about the subnet ID, but the classful network ID may not matter to what you are thinking about. So you can ignore the line between network and subnet, which is just another way to say to think with classless addressing rules.

The book of course gets into more detail.
Key here is that classless/full addressing is a way to think; it’s not an attribute.

Then, classless/full routing is a Cisco router “feature” having to do with the use of default routes

classless/full routing protocols is an attribute of routing protocols, whether they do (classless) or do not (classful) advertise subnet masks with their routing updates, therefore supporting VLSM.

Hope this helps!

Peter L.

Hi Wendell,

Does adequate speed performance on this drill require memorization all powers of two up to 2^24? I know the first twelve or two, but not the next 12, so if they ask how many hosts in a /10 block or subnets in I’d have to do time-consuming arithmetic.


Hi Peter,
Couldn’t really speculate on the specifics of what is or isn’t on the exam. I could say though that I’ve been told by Cisco Cert people over and over that the goal isn’t to trick you on trivia. EG, I wouldn’t expect you to see 4 answers for a value that is 2^22, with the 4 answers being 2 more or less than the previous answer, to test whether you had memorized the powers of two. Much more likely is whether you can do the math to find subnets, determine what addresses are in a subnet, that kind of thing.
If it were me, I’d memorize at least through 2^16. But that’s not some secret special insight – just an opinion.

papa woitjila

4:17 to complete the lab

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