Let's say we have network

Shorter prefixs than /16 are /0-/15. How about smaller prefix? The term "smaller prefix" is found in BGP-related documents.

  • You mention BGP-related documents, I guess the context would probably tell you if they are talking about smaller or larger networks. If not, please provide a link to the document, so someone can have a look.
    – Gerben
    Jun 18, 2015 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


I would assume /17 to /32 are the smaller prefixes.

Prefix is used as a synonym (1) for network in this case. The prefixes are longer, thus the networks they describe are smaller. I can see this could indeed be considered confusing, smaller as the opposite of shorter, but that's natural languages for you.

(1) It's probably a metonym, but that's a discussion for a different stack exchange site...

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