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In the world of IoT and networking, understanding the concept of a netmask and its application is essential for managing and organizing your network addresses effectively. Whether you’re an IoT enthusiast or simply interested in learning what is a netmask, this comprehensive guide will provide you with a deep understanding of netmasks, their significance, and how they contribute to efficient network management.


At its core, a netmask is a fundamental component of IP addressing. It acts as a filtering mechanism, separating an IP address into two distinct parts: the network address and the host address. By defining the netmask, we can determine which portion of the IP address represents the network and which portion identifies the devices within the network.

A netmask consists of 32 bits, typically represented in the dotted decimal notation, and is closely related to IP addresses. You can see a few examples in the image below.

The subnet mask is a more common term used to describe netmasks in the context of dividing networks into subnets. Both terms are often used interchangeably.

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