Note: If available, we highly recommend consulting an IT or networking professional when dealing with network issues.
Knowing what subnet a device is located in can help with network troubleshooting (especially when a device is not drawing service), as well as determining an available range when setting a static IP. It will also ensure you are able to use a computer on the network to access a device's web interface (GUI).
To determine if a phone is on the same subnet as a computer connected to the network:
- Using your phone's on-screen menu, navigate to Status > TCIP/IP parameters (this may differ slightly from phone to phone).
- Write down both the phone's IP address and subnet mask.
- From a computer on the the intended network, open a command/terminal prompt to look up the network configuration:
- Windows: In the Run or Search bar, type cmd and press Enter. Then type ipconfigand press Enter.
- Mac: Press Cmd+Space and type terminal, then press Enter. In the terminal, type ifconfig and press Enter.
- Look at the subnet mask -- does it match the phone's?
- NO: You know right away the phone and computer are not on the same network. To troubleshoot issues, rearrange the devices to ensure both the phone and computer are on the network the phones are intended to reside on.
- YES: Proceed below to determine whether or not the phone and computer are on the same subnet. (As with the subnet mask, devices on mismatched subnets must be arranged so that they reside on the same subnet to allow for productive troubleshooting of service issues.)
Comparing IP addresses to determine if devices are on the same subnet
In the example above (Step 3), we have a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. This tells us is the size of the network block:
- In each of the 4 sections, if the value is 255, we will substitute that with a 0.
- If there is any other number in the section, we then subtract that number from 256.
- In the example above, we would get 0.0.0.256 (256 - 0 = 256). This is a block of 256 numbers.
If the subnet were 255.255.252.0, we substitute and get 0.0.4.256. This is a block of 1024 addresses (4 x 256 = 1024).
When comparing two IP address/subnet combinations, the addresses must match for any section where the subnet value is 255. For a subnet of 255.255.255.0, we expect to see the first 3 sections of the IP address match (reading left to right) if they are in the same subnet.
The key is to match up the subnet and the IP address. Let’s look at three examples:
The most common subnet you will see is 255.255.255.0. So if two addresses match in the first 3 sections (reading left to right), and the subnet is 255.255.255.0 for both addresses, they are in the same subnet.