What Is A Subnet ID? [What Is A Subnet And How Does It Operate?]

In the sprawling metropolis of the internet, where billions of devices communicate every second, there exists a powerful concept that serves to organize the chaos behind the scenes: subnets. Like city blocks that organize urban chaos, subnets bring order and efficiency to the digital realm. They structure your online experiences, quietly shaping the way data flows, security is maintained, and resources are allocated in the vast landscape of cyberspace. In this exploration, we will answer your questions: What is a subnet ID? How does it operate? What is a subnet in general?

Please continue reading to learn how to use subnets, examine their influence, and understand the critical role they play in the interconnected world we navigate daily.


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What Exactly Is a Subnet?

What Exactly Is a Subnet?

A subnetwork — or “subnet” for short — is a subdivision of a larger Internet Protocol (IP) network. Subnets divide these large networks and addresses into smaller, more manageable pieces that allow for faster, more efficient communication between networks and devices. Without subnets, there would not be enough IP addresses available for every entity that resides on the internet. Subnets create space, allowing for more expansion and definition within an IP address to allow for an infinite amount of addresses on the internet.

A subnet provides the best path for communication between devices that exist on the same network. This is similar to how routers facilitate communication between networks. Subnets use subnet IDs to make them more efficient. But what is a subnet ID? A subnet ID is the indicator that a router uses to determine the best route between subnetworks. Because subnets and subnet IDs make data transmissions more efficient, using subnets can ease network traffic and increase network speeds.

A subnet can also act as an agent of communication, allowing businesses of any size to engage in web scraping. Web scraping allows companies to collect extensive web data, which lets any business with an online presence collect valuable analytics and customer profiles. Unfortunately, websites can deny an IP address access to information after a number of scraping requests. With a subnet, a different IP address can easily assume the responsibility of making scraping requests, allowing businesses to continue collecting important information by changing the subnet ID that is acting on their behalf. Luckily, you don’t have to be a web developer to take advantage of proxies and subnet IDs. Rayobyte offers a wide range of reliable proxies that will help you carry out your next web scraping project uninterrupted.

What Is the Difference Between IPv6 and IPV4 Subnets?

What Is the Difference Between IPv6 and IPV4 Subnets?

Subnetting is a technique used in both IPv4 and IPv6 networking to divide a larger IP address space into smaller, more manageable segments. In IPv4, which is the most common addressing standard, subnets are typically identified using a subnet mask, which identifies the network section of the IP address and the host section. In IPv6, subnet IDs are identified using a prefix length, which specifies the number of bits in the network prefix. You may see letters as well as numbers to identify an IPv6 address. IPv4 networking is still in primary use, though IPv6 is growing.

How do IPv6 subnets work?

IPv6 subnets work in a similar way to IPv4 subnets but with some key differences due to the larger address space of IPv6. In IPv6, subnets are used to divide a larger IPv6 address block into smaller, more manageable segments. This significantly larger address space allows for a more hierarchical and flexible subnetting structure and is often done for organizational purposes, security, routing efficiency, or other administrative reasons.

IPv6 subnets can vary in prefix length, which allows for ample space for a host to notate a specific address. The additional space allows for Router Advertisement (RA) messages, which prompt hosts to configure their own IPv6 addresses. Routing tables are populated with this prefix information, allowing routers to make informed forwarding decisions. The growing usage of IPv6 networks will allow for an even more exponential availability of subnets and subnet IDs.

Types of Subnets

Types of Subnets

Various types of subnets exist, each designed with unique purposes and functionalities in mind. From the public subnets that connect our devices to the internet to private subnets that safeguard sensitive data and subnets that enable cloud computing activities, subnets are the architecture that supports our digital world.

What is a local subnet?

A local subnet, or a Local Area Network (LAN), is a network of generally smaller proportions, both physically and in terms of necessary power output. Think of a personal residence, a school, or an office building. A LAN can allow for communication between devices in a small geographic area, resulting in rapid speed communication and connection. A local subnet can be further divided into smaller subnets and can even distinguish connections between different departments of an organization or physical floors of a building.

A LAN can function via WiFi and through cabled communication, such as ethernet. Local subnets were first used to service devices operating in one entity, especially during the rise of personal computers, as well as to connect personal devices to printers.

What is a public subnet?

A public subnet is a subnet that is directly accessible from the internet and has a publicly accessible IP address. When a subnet is public, it is associated with a router table containing a subnet ID that is detectable and used by a router to direct traffic around the internet. This allows resources in the public subnet to send and receive traffic to and from the internet. In a public subnet, traffic can flow to and from the internet freely. Public subnets are typically used by web servers and internet gateways. A public subnet ID is fully exposed to the internet, opening the network up to potential security threats, so some level of protection is highly recommended if you’re using or hosting this type of subnet.

What is a private subnet?

A private subnet is not directly accessible from the internet. Though a private subnet would still contain an IP address and a subnet ID, the route table that a private subnet is associated with will not have a route to an internet gateway. A private subnet can communicate with the internet through a NAT gateway, but only through outbound communication, and this communication is generally limited to the use of a private subnet.

A private subnet may be used when extra security measures are required or when a closed network is more fitting, such as in the use of a database or within a company’s internal services. Resources in a private subnet are shielded from direct external access, making them less susceptible to internet-based attacks. However, you should still implement security measures to control outbound traffic and ensure that communication with the internet is secure.

What Is a Subnet Example?

What Is a Subnet Example?

As mentioned when discussing what is a subnet ID, a subnet ID is a set of numbers included in a larger network’s address or IP address that notifies a router of the existence of a subnetwork. This section of numbers allows for greater organization and activity on the internet. In a standard IP address, the first section of the address identifies the operating network, and the second part identifies host information. In a subnet, the second set of numbers will be further divided so that both host bits and subnet bits – i.e., the subnet ID – can be included.

To use a physical example from Cloudflare, an IPv4 address may look something like this: The network class will determine which sections of the IP address indicate the network and which indicate the host and subnet ID. If this IP address was of a Class C network, the first three sets of numbers, “192.0.2,” would indicate the network, and the remaining sets would indicate the host or device. A network router would forward an IP packet to a host on this network. Upon the packet’s arrival, a router within the network would use the device address — “15” — to calculate which subnet the packet should go to using the subnet mask or subnet ID.

How to create subnets from an IP address

Subnetting allows for efficient IP address management and network organization. The specific details of subnetting may vary depending on your network’s requirements and whether you are working with IPv4 or IPv6 addresses.

  • Step 1: To create a subnet ID from an IP address, you will first need to determine how many subnets you wish to create as part of the existing network.
  • Step 2: You will need to calculate the subnet mask or prefix length. The measurement you use will depend on whether you are using IPv4 (subnet mask) or IPv6 (prefix).
  • Step 3: Calculate the subnet mask or prefix length by determining how many bits of the IP address must be reserved for the network portion and subnet ID.
  • Step 4: Use the calculated subnet mask or prefix length to define each subnet within the chosen IP address range.
  • Step 5: Assign IP addresses within each subnet to devices, servers, or network segments according to your network design and requirements.
  • Step 6: If you have multiple subnets, configure routers to route traffic between them and set up any necessary routing protocols.

Though the steps outlined above can assist you in creating a subnet from an IP address, it’s not likely that you will have to create your own subnet or calculate your own subnet ID. If you are using a proxy or scraping tool for business purposes, whether small or large, it’s also possible that your product provider can assist in creating subnet proxies.

The Benefits of Subnetting

The Benefits of Subnetting

Subnetting offers a plethora of advantages that contribute to efficient network management, optimized resource allocation, enhanced security, and seamless communication. Without subnetting, the enormous number of online addresses that allow our current version of the internet to function would not be possible.

Efficient IP address management

One of the most immediate benefits of subnetting is efficient IP address management. It allows organizations to break down a large address space into smaller, more manageable chunks, reducing the risk of address exhaustion. Subnetting ensures that IP addresses are allocated efficiently, preventing wasted address space. Each subnet can be tailored to the specific needs of its associated devices, ensuring that IP addresses are not underutilized or overutilized.

Subnetting facilitates network growth and scalability. As an organization expands, it can create additional subnet IDs to accommodate new devices, departments, or locations without reconfiguring the entire network.

Enhanced network organization

Subnetting brings order to network infrastructure by enabling logical segmentation. This organization is particularly beneficial for larger networks, where distinguishing different parts of the network is essential. Subnets can be used to represent different departments, teams, or functional areas within an organization. This logical separation simplifies network management and troubleshooting. By grouping devices with similar functions or communication patterns into the same subnet, organizations can streamline traffic management and optimize network performance.

Effective traffic control and routing

Subnets play a vital role in traffic control and routing, ensuring that data packets are directed efficiently within the network. This results in improved network performance and lower latency. Routers use subnet ID information to make routing decisions. Subnetting allows routers to make more granular routing choices, reducing the complexity of routing tables and improving network efficiency. In IPv4, devices within the same subnet share a common broadcast domain. Subnetting confines broadcast traffic to specific segments, preventing broadcast storms and reducing network congestion.

Enhanced security

Security is a top concern in network management. Subnetting enhances network security by enabling segmentation and isolation of different parts of the network. Subnet IDs can be used to create security zones. For example, a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) can be implemented as a separate subnet to host public-facing services, isolating them from the internal network. Firewalls, access control lists (ACLs), and other security measures can be applied at subnet boundaries to control the flow of traffic between different parts of the network. This helps prevent unauthorized access and contains security breaches.

Simplified troubleshooting and maintenance

Troubleshooting and network maintenance become more straightforward with subnetting in place. When an issue arises within a subnet, administrators can isolate it more easily. Troubleshooting can be focused on the affected subnet without affecting the entire network. Subnetting reduces the size of collision domains in Ethernet networks, decreasing the chances of collisions and improving network reliability.

Why Are Subnets Relevant to Proxy Users?

Why Are Subnets Relevant to Proxy Users?

Subnets play a pivotal role in shaping the way we manage and secure our networks. While subnet IDs are typically associated with network administrators and system architects, they are equally relevant and beneficial to proxy users. Subnets allow proxy users to take advantage of enhanced security, improved efficiency, and greater privacy in the digital realm. Proxies can help you address social media management, streaming, cybersecurity, and geolocation issues.

Subnetting, subnet IDs, and privacy

Subnetting can further bolster proxy user privacy by allowing proxy providers to allocate IP addresses from specific subnets for different clients or user groups. This practice, known as subnet rotation, ensures that a proxy user’s IP address is less likely to be associated with a single user over an extended period. It adds an extra layer of privacy by making it more difficult for websites to correlate browsing activities with individual users.

Proxy users often seek to bypass geographic restrictions imposed by websites or streaming services. Subnetting can play a role in this endeavor by allowing proxy providers to allocate IP addresses associated with specific geographic regions or countries. This enables users to select proxies from the desired location, effectively altering their geolocation and accessing region-restricted content.

For example, a proxy user located in Europe could use a proxy server with IP addresses from the United States to access US-only streaming services or websites, all while maintaining their privacy through subnetting practices.

Subnetting and data collection

Most notably, proxies let companies of any size benefit from the collection of big data. Web scraping is a crucial data collection tool. Proxies enable the performance of web scraping calls that collect data. Though proxies are invaluable for a variety of users, organizations can not get maximum value out of them when a proxy’s IP, including the subnet ID, is disallowed and potentially permanently blocked from sites that contain pertinent information. When done right, subnets can help proxy users acquire more value from the proxies they have purchased.

How can a site identify a subnet?

Let’s reference the subnet example mentioned above. The IP address we examined was Imagine that we had another IP address of The first three sets of numbers in these IP addresses are identical, which tells us that they belong to the same network or subnet. The last set of numbers will give us the host ID or subnet ID for a further network division. When a site decides to block a specific IP address from scraping, it is likely that the entire subnet of addresses will be blocked as well. This means that if you purchased multiple proxies of the same subnet, all of your proxies would be blocked even though there was maybe only one proxy offender.

If you are suspicious that your IP addresses are vulnerable, it is possible to confirm on your subnet how many IPv4 addresses were scanned. It can be challenging, but using network monitoring tools can allow you to capture network traffic and analyze scanning patterns. You can utilize specialized network scanning detection tools or software designed to identify and report scanning activities on your network and check your firewall logs for any suspicious or repetitive connection attempts from other unknown IP addresses.

How to get the most out of your proxies

Minimal diversity in your proxy subnets can lead to a loss of valuable time and money. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your proxies serve you at the highest level. First, try to buy proxies from different subnets. You want to ensure that your IP addresses and subnet IDs are varied enough so that if one of your proxies does get blocked, you will still have other functioning proxies.

Another consideration should be in selecting the type of proxy that best fits your needs. Data center proxies provided by Rayobyte offer maximum diversity, are hosted from over 20 countries, and contain thousands of IPs and subnet IDs. Because these proxies originate from a data center, not a physical local network, you’ll experience a high degree of anonymity using a data center proxy. Due to the massive supply of these IPs, you can purchase data center proxies in bulk for great value.

Residential proxies, on the other hand, may be a bit more expensive but are less likely to be banned than data center proxies. This is because residential proxies look identical to a regular IP address. However, even with a legitimate residential proxy, any scraping or market research behavior may still result in a blocked proxy. To combat this issue, Rayobyte offers rotating residential proxies. With this service, your IP address changes automatically, providing protection from scans that may block your proxy. With this option, it’s not necessary to purchase an entire subnet, eliminating the threat that every IP address in your subnet is vulnerable to being blocked because of one proxy’s mishap.


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Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Subnetting is the process of dividing a larger IP address space into smaller, manageable segments, known as subnets. In the ever-evolving landscape of networking and information technology, efficient utilization of IP addresses, effective traffic management, and robust security practices are essential for organizations of all sizes. Subnetting is a powerful tool that addresses all of these needs.

Understanding the relationship between proxies and subnets can be complicated. However, using these tools effectively can help companies collect the valuable data they need to grow and succeed. At Rayobyte, we are committed to helping businesses of all sizes learn about and excel in their data-collection strategy in a creative and ethical manner.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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