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networking A 32-bit bit mask which shows how an Internetaddress is to be divided into network, subnet and host
parts. The netmask has ones in the bit positions in the 32-bit address
which are to be used for the network and subnet
parts, and zeros for the host part. The mask should contain
at least the standard network portion (as determined by the
address's class), and the subnet field should be contiguous
with the network portion.