A normal access-list CANNOT check the subnet mask of a network. It can

only
check bits to make sure they match, nothing more. A prefix-list

has an
advantage over an access-list in that it CAN check BOTH bits and

subnet mask
- both would have to match for the network to be either

permitted or denied.

For checking bits a prefix list ALWAYS goes from left to right and

CANNOT skip any bits. A basic example would be this:

172.16.8.0/24

If there is only a / after the network (no le or ge) then the number

after the / is BOTH bits checked and subnet mask. So in this case it

will check the 24 bits from left to right (won't care about the last 8

bits) AND it will make sure that it has a 24 bit mask. BOTH the 24 bits

checked and the 24 bit subnet mask must match for the network to be

permitted or denied.

Now we can do a range of subnet masks also
that could be permitted or denied:

172.16.8.0/24 ge 25

If we
use either the le or ge (or both le and ge) after the /, then the

number
directly after the / becomes ONLY bits checked and the number

after the ge
or le (or both) is the subnet mask. So in this case we are

still going to
check the first 24 bits of the network from left to

right. If those match
we are then going to check the subnet mask, which

in this case can be
GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 25 bits - meaning that as

long as the first 24 bits
of the network match the subnet mask could be

25,26,27,28,29,30,31,or 32
bits. They would all match.

We can also do:

172.16.8.0/24 le
28

Again this will check the first 24 bits of the network to make sure
that

they match. Then it will check to make sure that the subnet mask is

LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO 28 bits. Now this isn't going to be 28 bits down

to 0 bits, the subnet mask can't be any lower than the bits we are

checking. So the valid range of subnet masks for this one would be 28

bits down to 24 bits (24,25,26,27,and 28). All of those would match.

We can also do both ge and le:

172.16.8.0/24 ge 25 le 27

Here again we are checking the first 24 bits to make sure they match.

Then our subnet mask must be GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 25 bits LESS THAN

OR EQUAL TO 27 bits. Meaning that 25,26,and 27 bit subnet masks would

match.

Now for a couple of examples:

If we have the
following networks:

172.16.8.0/28

172.16.8.16/28

172.16.8.32/28

172.16.8.48/28

172.16.8.64/28

We could permit all of these
networks with one prefix-list statement:

172.16.8.0/24 ge 28 le 28

This will check the first 24 bits to make sure they match. All of
these

networks have 172.16.8 as the first 24 bits, and it won't care what is

in the last 8 bits. Then it will check to make sure that the subnet

mask is GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO 28 bits LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO 28 bits -

the only number that works for this is 28 bits. So the first 24 bits in

the network must match and it has to have a 28 bit subnet mask. All 5

of our networks would match for this.

We could be even more precise
with this and use:

172.16.8.0/25 ge 28 le 28

If we take a look
at our 4th octects we will see that for all of them

the 128 bit is off so we
can check that bit also (25 bits total we are

checking).

0 -- 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0

16 - 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

32 - 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0

48 - 0 0 1 1 0 0
0 0

64 - 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

This would be closer to permitting the 5
networks that we have.

We could also permit only the classful
networks. The first thing that

we need to do is figure out exactly what a
classful network is.

For a class A network we know that it has to
have an 8 bit mask and must

be between 0 and 127 in the first octect. If we
break down 0 and 127 we

get:

0 --- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

127 - 0 1 1
1 1 1 1 1

For the first octect of a class A network the first bit has
to be a 0,

it must be off. So we can do a prefix-list like this:

0.0.0.0/1 ge 8 le 8

In our first octet the first bit is a 0
(which is what it would need to

be to be class A), with the /1 we have we
are ONLY checking the first

bit to make sure it's a 0 (meaning it would be a
class A network 0 -

127). We are then making sure that this class A network
actually has a

class A subnet mask of 8 bits, and only 8 bits would match.

For the class B's we need to make sure that they have a 16 bit subnet

mask and that they are in the range of 128 - 191 in the first octet. If

we break down 128 and 191 we get:

128 - 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

191 - 1
0 1 1 1 1 1 1

The first two bits are what we are going to care about.
We need to make

sure that the first two bits in the first octet are 1 0 .
The first

number that we can use as our standard we are checking against is
128 -

128 has a 1 0 as the first two bits in its first octet.

128.0.0.0/2 ge 16 le 16

So we are checking the first two bits
to make sure the network has a 1

0, meaning that it must be in the range of
128 - 191. We are then going

to check to make sure that it has the classful
16 bit mask, and ONLY a

16 bit mask.

Finally we have the class C
networks. Class C networks are in the range

of 192 - 223 and they must have
a 24 bit mask. If we break down 192 and

223 we get:

192 - 1 1 0 0
0 0 0 0

223 - 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1

The first 3 bits in the first octet
are what we care about. 192 would

be the first number we can put in that
first octect that will have 1 1 0

as its first 3 bits.

192.0.0.0/3
ge 24 le 24

We are going to check the first 3 bits of the octet and
make sure that

its 1 1 0 meaning that it has to be in the range of 192 - 223
being

class C, then we are going to check to make sure it has a class C

classful subnet of 24 bits.

Finally how to permit or deny
any could be very helpful since a

Prefix-list just like an Access-list has
an implicit deny at the end:

0.0.0.0/0 le 32

This is 'any' for
a prefix-list. It says check 0 bits; I don't care

what any of the bits
are. It also says that the subnet mask can be 32

bits or less (down to the
number of bits we are checking) down to 0. So

we aren't going to check any
bits and the network can have a subnet mask

of anything between 0 and 32
bits. This would be 'any'.

Now for an example.

In the
3rd Octet we have 1, 4, and 5. We'll break these down to binary

to see if
we can summarize these into one line:

1 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

4 - 0 0 0
0 0 1 0 0

5 - 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1

For a Prefix-list we need to go from
the left to the right and we can't

skip bits. So for these three networks
we would need to stop at the 8

bit since it is the last bit from left to
right that is the same. This

would give us 3 bits that are different, or 8
possible networks. We

only have 3 of the 8 possible networks and we should
not permit or deny

more than we actually have. We should be as specific as
possible.

If we leave the 91.86.1.0/24 alone by itself it will give
us a

Prefix-list of:

91.86.1.0/24

This will check the
first 24 bits from left to right to make sure that

they match, and it will
also check to make sure that it has a 24-bit

subnet mask.

For the 4
and 5 networks we can permit or deny both of those with one

line. If we
take a look at 4 and 5 again we can see that all of the

bit's match down to
the 2 bit. This would leave 1 bit that doesn't

match, which would give us 2
possible networks, both of which we have.

The Prefix-list to permit or deny
both 4 and 5 would be:

91.86.4.0/23 ge 24 le 24

This will
check the first 23 bits from left to right. The 24th bit

could either be
off, which would give us 4, or it could be on which

would give us 5. Since
we have the ge and le involved the /23 is only

bits checked. The ge and le
specify that our subnet mask must be

greater than or equal to 24-bits and
less than or equal to 24-bits which

means that the subnet mask must be
24-bits for both possible networks.

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