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Subnetting vs. Supernetting: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 10, 2024
Subnetting divides a network into smaller segments, enhancing organization and security, while supernetting combines multiple networks into a larger one for simplified management.

Key Differences

Subnetting involves dividing a larger network into smaller, more manageable subnetworks. This process increases network efficiency and security by reducing congestion and isolating network segments. Supernetting, on the other hand, is the practice of combining multiple smaller networks into a larger, aggregated network. It simplifies network management and address allocation by creating a larger address space from smaller ones.
In subnetting, IP addresses are segmented into subnetworks, allowing for finer control over traffic flow and access within a network. This leads to improved performance and security. Supernetting, conversely, reduces the number of routing entries in a routing table by aggregating multiple networks, thereby simplifying the routing process and conserving IP addresses.
Subnetting is often used within organizations to create distinct networks for different departments or functional areas, enhancing security and control. Supernetting is more commonly used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and large organizations to efficiently use IP address space and simplify network routing.
The technical process of subnetting involves creating smaller networks by manipulating the subnet mask of an IP address. This allows for the creation of multiple subnetworks within a single network. In supernetting, the process involves expanding the network by combining multiple IP addresses or networks, effectively creating a larger network with a single subnet mask.
Subnetting is essential for large networks to avoid broadcast traffic overload and to create isolated network segments for security. Supernetting, in contrast, is key to efficient IP address management, especially with the limited availability of IPv4 addresses, and helps in reducing the complexity of routing tables in large networks.

Comparison Chart


Divides a network into smaller subnetworks.
Combines multiple networks into a larger one.


Enhances security, reduces congestion.
Simplifies management, conserves IP addresses.

Common Usage

Used within organizations for segmenting networks.
Used by ISPs and large networks for efficient address space usage.

Technical Process

Involves manipulating subnet masks to create subnetworks.
Expands network by combining IP addresses/networks.

Impact on Routing

Increases the number of entries in routing tables.
Reduces the number of routing entries for simplicity.

Subnetting and Supernetting Definitions


Subnetting reduces network traffic congestion and improves performance.
The company implemented subnetting to reduce network bottlenecks.


Supernetting is the process of combining multiple networks into a larger one.
Supernetting was used to merge different branch networks into a single network.


Subnetting is dividing a network into smaller, more manageable subnetworks.
Subnetting was used to separate the administrative and academic departments.


It simplifies network management by reducing the complexity of routing tables.
Supernetting helped the ISP streamline its network routing process.


This process uses subnet masks to divide an IP address space.
Subnetting was achieved by adjusting the subnet mask to create multiple subnets.


This process involves expanding a network with a single subnet mask.
The network expansion was achieved through supernetting several smaller networks.


Subnetting helps in efficient IP address allocation within a large network.
The university used subnetting to efficiently allocate IP addresses to different dormitories.


Supernetting conserves IP addresses by creating larger address spaces.
To manage IP addresses efficiently, the company implemented supernetting.


It involves creating distinct network segments for enhanced security.
Subnetting the network improved security by isolating sensitive data.


Supernetting is useful for ISPs to efficiently manage large-scale networks.
Supernetting allowed the ISP to efficiently handle its expanding customer base.


Infl of subnet


What does supernetting achieve?

Supernetting combines smaller networks into a larger one for simplified management.

What is the benefit of supernetting for ISPs?

It simplifies IP address management and network routing.

How does subnetting improve network security?

By isolating network segments, reducing the risk of widespread issues.

Can subnetting reduce network congestion?

Yes, by dividing traffic among smaller, manageable subnetworks.

Does supernetting affect IP address conservation?

Yes, it helps in conserving IP addresses by aggregating networks.

What is involved in the technical process of subnetting?

Manipulating subnet masks to create distinct network segments.

How does supernetting help in routing?

It simplifies routing by aggregating multiple networks into a single entry.

What role does supernetting play in IP address management?

It plays a key role in efficiently managing large address spaces.

What is the main purpose of subnetting?

Subnetting divides a larger network into smaller segments for better management.

Is subnetting useful for large organizations?

Yes, especially for segmenting different departments or areas.

Can subnetting be applied to any network?

Yes, but it's particularly useful in larger networks.

Is supernetting beneficial for small networks?

It's more beneficial for larger networks or ISPs.

What is the role of a subnet mask in supernetting?

It's used to define the expanded network boundary in supernetting.

How does supernetting simplify network management?

By reducing the number of routing entries needed.

How does subnetting impact IP address allocation?

It allows for more efficient and organized allocation within a network.

Is special equipment needed for supernetting?

No special equipment, but careful planning and configuration are required.

Can subnetting and supernetting be used together?

Yes, they can be combined for efficient network management.

What's the primary difference in application between subnetting and supernetting?

Subnetting is more about internal network organization, while supernetting is about managing broader network connections.

Does subnetting require a change in hardware?

Not necessarily, it's more about configuration changes.

How do subnet masks relate to subnetting?

They are used to define the boundaries of subnetworks.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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