For best performance and ease of management, is it better to use 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x range of addresses for a small (<50 PCs) business network?
This would correspond to a subnet of 255.255.0.0 and 255.0.0.0 respectively.
RFC 1918 may offer you some guidance on this. At the end of it all though, you've got to design your network to suit, well, your network. If you've only got ~50 devices on the network, then any /24 (255.255.255.0 netmask) will more then suffice
What do you estimate your growth to be? Will a /24 suit in the future? That's a consideration you need to take into account
The performance side of things, I'd probably leave any performance impact to be theoretical. And management, well, that may depend on the tool used. Are you just considering IP allocation. Will DHCP work for you? Do you plan on having statically configured devices? You IP address management may start in the form of a spreadsheet. It may be more elaborate, and be database backed. You may want to tie it in to a NMS or something. There's a lot of scope in this area
Just because the "default" mask for a space is something large doesn't mean you have to use that mask with that space.
I would pick a subnet in the 10/8 space, like 10.1.0.0/24. This would give you room to grow in the future (ie add 10.1.1.0/24 for new space in the current site, and 10.2.0.0/24 for an alternate site).
For larger initial sites, we usually use a /20 network -- that would give you 10.0.0.0 through 10.0.15.255 to play with, or around 4094 individual IP addresses. That way you can allocate DHCP scopes in logical chunks (like 10.0.8.0 through 10.0.9.255) while allocating other specific addresses in specific places (ie we always put printers and networking gear in 10.0.15).
I would avoid using the whole 10/8 at once because if your network ever grows beyond around 4000 systems the arp noise is going to start taking a non-trivial amount of bandwidth.
I would avoid 192.168.0/24 and 192.168.1/24 because these are defaults for many consumer-grade home devices, and should you ever have to get into VPN access it will cause problems if your users home networks conflict with the "corporate" one.
I personally would avoid 192.168 totally because it doesn't flow off the fingers like the low-hanging fruit in 10.x does. On the other hand, if you have a site policy of avoiding 192.168, it makes it easy to use such addresses for local playing (ie VMware).
There will be no difference for a such small network.
Just note that 172.16/12 is also reserved for private use. (172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255) (see RFC1918)
As everyone has mentioned, there is no difference between them.
You can carve the address space as small or as large as you want. You want as small as you need, but not so small to make it hard to expand.
The only reason to pick one over the other is if you connect to another network, either by a VPN or by a direct link. You will run into trouble if you have the same address range, so consider what networks you are likely to connect to. Readdressing is not a task to be taken lightly.
There's no obvious advantage or disadvantage choosing a range out of 10.0.0.0/8, 172.16.0.0/12 or 192.168.0.0/24 these days (with almost everything capable of using CIDR). If you're looking at a corporate merger down the line, there MAY be some advantage of picking a random starting point in one of the two larger blocks, as that MAY mean you won't have to renumber. However, planning for that isn't really a priority.
That depend on your need :
192.168.x.x is a Private Internet address Class C that support 65534 hosts
10.x.x.x is a Private Internet address Class A that support 16777214 hosts.
In my network i have about 1000 targets and i use the Class C of address.
May be for some security view you can use 10.x.x.x/24 if you have less that 50 targets. please find here a similar post
Either/or, but just make sure that you throw everything you may have ever heard about classes out of the nearest window and use CIDR instead.
With 50 hosts you might even be able to use a 25 bit netmask which would help avoid the VPN issues mentioned by others (I doubt if many networks out there use 25 bit netmasks).