IP Network Calculator is a free Android app that allows you to figure out IP addresses, subnets, and other network information when you set up and deploy networks. Why do you need this information for a small business network? Even if you’re just managing a small network, you may need to figure out how to divide your network into subnets.
Subnets are useful, even in small networks, for managing groups of users by location, restricting access to resources, and enhancing performance of the network. This is an app that comes in handy when you planning or deploying the preliminary hardware in a network, such as switches and routers, and you want to plan up your IP address strategy, including any subnets you may need to configure.
For more basic information on IP addresses and subnets, check out ”ABCs of IP Addresses.”
IP Network Calculator was a quick download and install on my Android. This is a lightweight 113k app that is supported on Android versions 1.6 and later.
The app opens to the IPv4 calculator. Only IPv4 addressing information is available. There is a tap that lets you to switch to an IPv6 view, but the only message under that view is Coming Soon! IPv6 support is on the company’s near future roadmap, I confirmed.
The app has a default Class C IP address of 192.168.0.1 already entered as well as the subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Under this information is some other useful info including the number of usable IP addresses on this type of network and the first and last address you can assign.
The app also provides the binary, hexadecimal, octal, and decimal correlations to the standard dotted-decimal notation, you know, the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx representation.
There is also an on-screen slide that allows you to adjust the CIDR value. CIDR stands for Classless InterDomain Routing. This is the number of 1s in a subnet mask when converted to binary.
Why is the CIDR useful? First, it tells me the class of IP address I am using, the number of allowable hosts, and which subnet mask I should use on the network—all necessary information to get a network up and running.
CIDR for most Class C IP address networks (in small and home network) is usually depicted as /24. This tells me right away that the network has 254 usable IP address and the subnet mask should be 255.255.255.0. IP Network Calculator details this information.
Sorting Out Subnets
As a network administrator, I may have a Class C IP address network assignment, but I may need to divide my network into subnets. Subnets allows you to efficiently manage groups of hosts in regards to security and network performance. Let’s say I want to divide my Class C network into two subnets. With IP Network Calculator, I can move the slider to make the CIDR /25. This breaks my network into two subnets and the app will show me information such as the number of usable IPs, first and last IP I can assign, the type of network (public or private), and the class of IP address.
There are plenty of online IP address calculators that can give you the same information. But they’re online. If you have a small IT consulting business, and you are performing a site survey or planning a network deployment in a space where there is no network, it’s very convenient to have an app locally installed on your Android phone or tablet and just be able to plug in some data.
IP Network Calculator also has some settings you can tweak. You can change the look of the UI. I really like the Terminal interface that looks like a dumb client machine from the 1980′s. You can specify how you want particular IP address notation to display. For instance, you can display hexadecimal notation without the “0x” prefix.
Even cooler, you can copy and paste information from the app. If you do a long press on the screen a menu appears with several options including: Copy as Hexadecimal, Share All Formats, or just copy Network Address, CIDR, First or Last Address.
I selected another option “All Data Current Format.” This copied the data on screen to my device’s clipboard. I then opened up a new spreadsheet in QuickOffice and pasted my information. This is a great way to create on the fly network information if you are managing or deploying several customers’ networks.
My biggest complaint is the lack of IPv6 information, which is coming, according to the developer. That will be a huge help when network administrators start to get really serious about IPv6 deployments.
Calculating the Benefits
IP Network Calculator is also a great tool for those learning about networking who want to find out how CIDR, IP addresses, and subnets all work with one another. This free little app is a great addition to a network administrator’s (or budding network admin’s) toolkit and is a four out of five stars for networking software and Android apps.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc