As stated above, subnet masks depend on all the bits from left to right. This prevents you from matching address where the ones and zeros don't run in order like a subnet mask. Let's say you use 220.127.116.11 for all your office floors subnets, broken into /24s, and that all your printers are 1.1.x.8, 1.1.x.16, and 1.1.x.24 in each subnet. Now let's say you want to write an ACL that allows the print server to only reach these printers, you can match on the single bits that meet this requirement
Wildcard mask in binary:
This is unusual in production networks, but it comes up a lot in certification exams.
(I came up with this quickly, if my mask is screwed up feel free to correct me).
The short answer is: wildcard masks are more flexible (you can match anything, subnet masks can't match addresses that are not on a subnet boundary).
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