Applying a subnet mask to an IP address allows you to identify the network and node parts of the address. The network bits are represented by the 1s in the mask, and the node bits are represented by the 0s. Performing a bitwise logical AND operation between the IP address and the subnet mask results in the Network Address or Number.
For example, using our test IP address and the default Class B subnet mask, we get:
10001100.10110011.11110000.11001000 188.8.131.52 Class B IP Address
11111111.11111111.00000000.00000000 255.255.000.000 Default Class B Subnet Mask
10001100.10110011.00000000.00000000 140.179.000.000 Network Address