Benefits and Disadvantages of Subnetworks

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Whenever you logically partition an IP network which is usually a large network, you build a subnet. The blocks which build how computers find each other on a network, are two; subnets and IP address. (Sutherland, 2000) Smaller networks can be of advantage to a large computer network. It can be therefore prudent to use subnets in some situations.

If you need to reduce congestion in your network, then you have to implement subnets. If you strategically place your smaller networks, you will have a less loaded traffic in your connection. Large networks which do not have subnets, will lead to multiple broadcast packets from all servers and computers using the network. (Bešták, 2012) This leads to high congestion, low performance by the network and a long response times. Another reason why it’s prudent to implement subnets is the burden that will be loaded on the management and design. When thinking on subnetworks, you will have to keep in your mind the subnets and even the length of the prefix physical position. This should ring a bell that there is a separate table for each subnet entry. This happens on local router. (Lobban, 2015) The process repeats until you are done with all the routes.

For proper security, creating smaller networks from the larger network is the best. It would be so prudent if you don’t have subnets, yet you need to control traffic flow. You can control traffic using route maps, QoS, or ACLs. This enables you to quickly identify threats. Using subnets, you can also respond to threats in your network system easily. You can also pinpoint threats entry into your system. Subnetworks make the work on an admin easy. You can generate more logical host limits by use of subnetworks. This doesn’t happen to large networks of IP addressing classes: 16 bits for class B, 8 bits for class A, and 24 bits for class C. subnetworks help in keeping tabs of all machines that are using your network. (Bešták, 2012) This solves the issue of wondering which machine needs attention. Lack of subnetworks, large networks which have beyond 254 devices will require class B allocation.

It would also not be beneficial to have subnets under some situations. If you don’t need high network performance, then there is no need of subnetworks. Just like in roads, especially highways, networks can flow comfortably even when traffic is too much as long as you achieve the work being done. (Bešták, 2012). Subnetworks prevents broadcasts which are necessary. When computers are linked to a network, they usually share information to any other computer that is found on the linked network. If you have a well-structured network, which maybe have less than 40 people. (Sutherland, 2000) If you have a small number of computers in your networks, it may tend to be too costly to start implementing subnetworks.

As much as there are disadvantages in subnets, in this century, there is every need to have subnets, from issues to do with security, network speed, proper organization in the sharing of networks and performance. It is therefore beneficial to have subnetworks.


Bešták, R. (2012). NETWORKING 2012.

Prague: Berlin ; New York : Springer, cop. 2012.

Lobban, C. (. (2015). How Subnet Mask Works. New Hampshire: Skillsoft Corporation 2015.

Sutherland. (2000). Subnet design for efficient networks. Butterworth-Heinemann: Oxford.

September 04, 2023
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