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I am new to networking, so I apologize is this question is naive. I understand that 2^32 = ~4 billion. However, if you add in subnet masks, won't this number increase? For example, let's say you have the IP address 126.96.36.199 /1. Why can't you also have 188.8.131.52/2. You know it is distinct from the former address because the subnet masks are different.