Do I need a router? I have two networks, the first begins with and the second Do I need a router for them to communicate?

Why can't I set to 100 on one side and to x on the other? Wouldn't that be an easier way? If so then what advantages do I have with two segments?

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Though IP addresses are important but an IP address alone doesnot have much significance. You need to have subnet mask also which can tell you in which subnet does an IP address lie. So based upon the subnet mask and can be in same subnet or in a different subnet. If they are in same subnet you don't need a router between them but if they are in different subnet you need a device, which can tell one subnet about the next hop it should take to reach the other subnet. Mostly, any router or a Layer 3 device can do this job well. With lesser number of segments you have lesser broadcasts. For a small network it does not matter much but when networks grow out of size segmentation is the remedy.

This was first published in February 2004

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