What is a default gateway?

September 25, 2018

Want to know what a default gateway is and how to find its IP address? Read on...

If you want multiple devices to connect to the same network, then you will need a protocol called a default gateway. This is used to help devices communicate with each other or to connect with a device outside a network on the internet.

Default gateways are used to answer internet queries by browsers on computers or mobile devices. These queries can be typing a query into a search engine or requesting a particular web page. These requests from the browser navigate via the default gateway and onto the wider external network so that the request can go onto its destination.

The originating device (the device that sends the request) determines the networking protocol. This uses a routing table on a computer and this specifies how the request should be handled and which router should organise the forwarding.

If nothing is specified, the last used or default gateway will be used instead and send the request. In most small networks, such as a house, the default network will be the router, but in larger businesses where there may be more than one network operating, the default gateway will be used, complemented by subnets that permit connections to the external network.


How to find the default gateway's IP address

Often, you'll need to know the IP address of your default gateway in order to troubleshoot any networking issues, as it's your network's primary point of contact with the wider internet. Thankfully, it's a snap to find this information out.

First, open your operating system's command line utility - Command Prompt for Windows, or Terminal on Linux and macOS. If you've got a Windows machine, use the 'ipconfig' command, the 'netstat -nr | grep default' command on macOS or the 'ip route | grep default' command if you're a Linux user. The command line utility should return a list of connection details, including the IP address of the default gateway device.


Credits: http://www.itpro.co.uk/network-internet/30327/what-is-a-default-gateway

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