A subnet is a smaller network grouping nodes with common characteristics within a larger network.

What Is a Subnet?

A subnet is a smaller network within a larger network. Think of all the computers, printers and other devices that make up a network as pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle. A subnet is like a chunk of that jigsaw; it collects nodes that all have something in common. This method improves the network's performance, cuts down on congestion, and makes it more secure by separating different sections.

Subnets act as security guards in this large virtual park, or as traffic cops, making sure information gets where it has to go without slowing down traffic.

Now that you understand what it is, let’s get to the main part! 

What Is a Subnet in Crypto? 

In the crypto world, subnets do not coordinate the flow of data but instead, function as separate blockchains inside a bigger network. For this purpose, we refer to individual networks inside the larger network as "chains of blocks," and these chains process distinct kinds of transactions and data. It's discrete, yet integral to the whole, like a network of interconnecting rings.

While crypto subnets share the original goals of efficiency and security, they provide the flexibility to implement user-defined solutions. To ensure the security of the network as a whole, subnets can operate under their own set of rules while enabling a wide variety of applications.

What Are Avalanche Subnets and How Do They Work?

Subnets have a deeper meaning in the Avalanche ecosystem. An Avalanche subnet is not just a blockchain but rather a group of nodes that agree on the state of a chain at a time. Each node in a subnet has an equal say in determining whether or not a transaction is legitimate, making the subnet something like a little democracy.

The Avalanche network offers the ability to customize each subnet to serve specific functions. This means that in the crypto industry, a subnet can be designed to balance between speed and extensive data processing capabilities, while a financial institution can create a subnet optimized for high-speed, high-volume transactions.

This customization provides increased flexibility to meet the unique requirements of different projects without compromising on security or performance. It represents a significant advancement for projects looking to utilize blockchain technology.

Polygon Supernets vs Avalanche Subnets

Polygon supernets and Avalanche subnets are quite distinct, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. To grow and interconnect blockchains compatible with Ethereum, Polygon has developed what it calls "supernets." It's a complex system of networks that function together flawlessly.

However, Avalanche's subnets are their own autonomous networks operating within the larger Avalanche network, each with its own set of capabilities and set of regulations. The emphasis is on adaptability and personalization, opening the door to an infinite number of niche blockchain uses.

Nodes and Subnet Blockchains

In order to verify financial transactions, a subnet relies on its nodes. Think of it as a group of detectives who check each other's work to make sure nothing is missed. These nodes work together in a subnet blockchain to verify the correctness of transactions and keep the network secure.

A Peek into the Future

Do blockchains have a bright future with subnets? They might very well alter the landscape in significant ways. Subnets have the potential to expand the usefulness of blockchain technology by increasing its scalability and allowing the implementation of specific features.

It may seem like a huge undertaking to deploy a subnet on the Avalanche blockchain, but it's actually rather straightforward. Each step, from installing your node to tweaking its settings and sending it out onto the network, is an essential component of the whole. Any technological undertaking calls for careful preparation and adherence to best practices. Deploying a subnet can provide secure access to several more blockchain applications if done properly.