Questions tagged [router]

A router is a device that forwards data packets across multiple networks. Questions tagged with router can cover router hardware, software, and network configuration.

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235 votes
1 answer
504k views

What is port forwarding and what is it used for?

There are a lot of questions on 'port forwarding', but there doesn't seem to be one that clearly states what it is and what it's used for. So: What is port forwarding? What is it used for, and why ...
173 votes
13 answers
122k views

How to find a router at an unknown location in a house?

I want to install a WLAN repeater in my father’s holiday house which he rents out to other people. My father is a digital neanderthal and doesn’t know where his router is, therefore I cannot ...
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160 votes
10 answers
25k views

Is it really possible for most enthusiasts to crack people's Wi-Fi networks?

Can most enthusiastic users (even if they are not professionals) use well-known techniques to break through the average home router's security? Some basic security options are: strong network ...
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138 votes
11 answers
39k views

SSID with very similar name, is this an attempt of hacking?

I noticed that another SSID pops up in my WiFi with the same name as mine (quite personal so could've only been intentionally copied) but a couple of the letters are capitalized. Their version has no ...
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93 votes
2 answers
53k views

How does Router know where to forward packet

If several computers with local addresses (192.168.0.#) are connected to a router and each computer opens a web browser and requests a page over HTTP, when these TCP:80 packets are sent out, the ...
92 votes
4 answers
168k views

What does "On-link" mean on the result of "route print" command?

I'm using Windows 7. When I type "route print" under command prompt, I get a IPv4 Route Table with several "On-link" values under the Gateway column. For example, like this one: IPv4 Route Table =====...
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82 votes
3 answers
968k views

Does moving my router from 20MHz to 40 MHz increase my wireless speed?

I found out that my wireless access point supports dual band (LinkSys E3000), so I went to its settings and changed it from operating on 20MHz to 40MHz. Does this mean I get a faster WiFi connection ...
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66 votes
9 answers
7k views

"Turn off router for 10 seconds" - Quantifiable? [duplicate]

Is there any quantifiable evidence to support power cycling routers for 10 seconds or any arbitrary amount of time, instead of just unplugging and plugging back in? This is related to troubleshooting ...
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63 votes
2 answers
114k views

What is the difference between ARP binding and DHCP address reservation?

In my TL-WR1043ND I have these functionalities and both of them pair an IP address to a MAC address. What is the difference? I read that ARP is for security reasons, others say it is for Wake-on-LAN. ...
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61 votes
2 answers
13k views

If my Wi-Fi speed is 64 Mbit/s why do I get nowhere near it?

I was transferring a file from one computer to another. When my two computers were far from the router I was getting 1 megabyte per second, but when I had my laptop next to the router I was ...
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55 votes
7 answers
64k views

OpenWrt vs DDWrt

I have a TP-Link Wr1043ND router and I want to install one of these two firmwares: OpenWRT DD-WRT I read that I can install custom packages and do much more than I can with the original firmware. ...
53 votes
3 answers
493k views

What is the difference between 2.4G and 5G wireless?

I just got a new "dual band" wireless router. The sales rep didn't really understand the difference between the "2.4G" and "5G" (as stated in the marketing material) wireless networks that the router ...
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51 votes
6 answers
10k views

Why is a router needed?

I‘ve been trying to figure out why a router is needed. I know a router can be used for DHCP and some other things, but I’m just thinking of networking with static IPs. So the following: Is it ...
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51 votes
2 answers
42k views

Does All LAN Traffic Travel Through A Router

I have a very simple question: if I have a router (DHCP enabled - leasing IP addresses between 192.168.0.2 and 192.168.0.254) with a switch plugged in, and I plug two computers into the switch, will ...
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49 votes
9 answers
10k views

Why are subnet-masks relevant for the individual computer on the network?

I understand how subnet-masks are used to divide a network into sub-networks, but, why does every computer in the network need to know the subnet-mask and not just the router? I could understand it, ...
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45 votes
2 answers
15k views

Why would the Wi-Fi connection on my smartphone perform better than the same connection on my laptop?

The download speeds while connected on Wi-Fi to the same router—an ADSL2+ Wireless N300 Modem Router—seems to be significantly faster on my phone than on my laptop. This problem doesn’t occur all the ...
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44 votes
4 answers
12k views

How does a router obtain its IP address?

So let's assume I connect a secondary router to my first. An Ethernet cable from one of the LAN ports to the secondary router's WAN. Now, how does my secondary router actual obtain its IP address? ...
44 votes
5 answers
5k views

Tablet and Wi-Fi AP can't agree on a channel. Which device is violating the 802.11n standard?

Yesterday I received a Fire 7 (9th Gen) Tablet. According to the official datasheet, it supports dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi. To my surprise, the SSID of my 5GHz Wi-Fi router didn't show up. After talking ...
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43 votes
7 answers
25k views

Why is the range of a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot shorter than that of a router?

There is something I would like to understand. A Wi-Fi router has a range of 30-40 meters (100-130 feet). A mobile hotspot (access point) generated by a smartphone has a range of +- 10 meters (30 ...
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43 votes
2 answers
22k views

What's the maximum actual bit rate of an 802.11g connection?

Using a wired connection, I get a 38 Mbit/s download speed. When I switch to wireless one (Linksys WRT54GL router with Tomato firmware), the speed drops to 23 Mbit/s even if the distance between the ...
42 votes
7 answers
197k views

Why does just splitting an Ethernet cable not work?

I thought the Ethernet is logically a one-line communication bus (for argument's sake, I am excluding hubs). All machines attached on the bus hears the same signals and the machines themselves try to ...
42 votes
3 answers
24k views

How does my router resolve a URL like http://router.asus.com/ to its IP address?

Typically I connect to my router by its IP address of 192.168.1.1. However, I am also able to connect to it at the URL router.asus.com. My computer does not have a connection to the Internet. How ...
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39 votes
6 answers
177k views

What does it mean to have a subnet mask /32?

I see in this question, the routing table has: 192.168.1.1/32 link#4 UCS 2 0 en0 openwrt.lan 46:94:fc:63:fc:7 UHLWIir 11 3610 en0 1200 ...
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39 votes
4 answers
9k views

How should I connect 7 devices to a switch module with four ethernet interfaces? Is there a preferred topology?

I have a router/switch with four switch ports on the back, to which I need to connect seven devices. Is there a reason to prefer one or other of the below topologies, or would a completely different ...
39 votes
5 answers
4k views

What keeps you from changing your public IP address and wreaking havok?

An interesting question was asked of me and I did not know what to answer. So I'll ask here. Let's say I subscribed to an ISP and I'm using cable internet access. The ISP gives me a public IP address ...
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39 votes
2 answers
131k views

How to route only specific subnet (source ip) to a particular interface?

How to route only specific subnet (source ip) to a particular interface? OS: Linux I know I can do easily by destination IP by using something like route add 1.2.3.4/24 dev eth4 but I do not ...
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39 votes
14 answers
453k views

Windows 10 Wi-Fi issue: "Can't connect to this network"

A little background - I have a Lenovo G50 which was running Windows 8.1 up until a few months back. Then came along the free upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft updated the laptop OS to Windows&...
37 votes
6 answers
40k views

Can you plug the computer directly into the wall to access the Internet? [closed]

My system is essentially: Wall -> Ethernet -> router -> Wi-Fi -> computer But I'd like to simplify it for this purpose and just do: Wall -> Ethernet -> router -> Ethernet -> ...
user avatar
36 votes
14 answers
208k views

Are routers limited to number of devices?

I'm going to buy a new router, but, I've just realised that for nearly all routers I've looked at (Belkin, Netgear, D-Link) don't state the maximum number of devices which can connect concurrently. ...
35 votes
2 answers
57k views

Why do some WiFi routers block multicast packets going from wired to wireless?

I have worked with dozens of consumer grade WiFi routers, and they have been really hit-or-miss with this, though it seems to be getting better. Example of issue: A device that can be discovered ...
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35 votes
3 answers
56k views

Alias for IPs in the home LAN network

Is it possible to assign a readable string alias to an IP address like 192.168.1.1? Maybe something like this: 192.168.1.1 -> router.home or 192.168.1.22 -> printer.home There is no need for ...
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34 votes
5 answers
5k views

What stops an internet router from sniffing my traffic?

Packets travel through internetworks, and take many routes through internet routers. On each route that forwards traffic to another until reaching the ultimate destination, what stops them from ...
34 votes
6 answers
7k views

I have a domain, static IP address and many devices I'd like to access outside my house. How do I route them?

I have a domain (e.g. example.com), static IP address (e.g. 212.5.5.5) and local devices at 192.168.0.1:80, 192.168.0.2:80, 192.168.0.3:80, 192.168.0.4:80, 192.168.0.4:47 (this one is not a website). ...
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34 votes
2 answers
79k views

Do different positions of the antenna on a wireless router make any difference?

Often, the antenna of a wireless router can be moved in many directions. Does it make a difference as to which way it points? Should it point toward the device(s) using it? Should multiple antennas ...
33 votes
4 answers
190k views

How will a router with NAT disabled behave?

I noticed that my home router has the option to disable NAT. How will the router behave with NAT turned off? Will it simply broadcast all incoming traffic to the subnet?
user avatar
33 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can anyone explain why this cable into a router is split between the sockets?

I have been working in IT since 1982. I have travelled to 41 different countries. I have never seen a configuration like this before. Any idea what is going on? For reference, the router is a Thomson ...
32 votes
14 answers
23k views

What is best way to share wifi with a building next door?

After a lot of window shopping and reading, I'm confused about how to share my WiFi with a building next door. Should my router be able to broadcast powerfully enough? Or should I invest in some kind ...
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32 votes
10 answers
31k views

Can I make two wireless routers communicate using the wireless?

I want to make a setup like this: cable modem <-cable-> wireless router 1 <-wireless-> wireless router 2 in another room <-cables-> PCs in another room Basically, I want to extend my ...
31 votes
12 answers
7k views

Which routers do you prefer for DD-WRT or OpenWRT? [closed]

I'm aware of the giant Supported Devices list. I'm wondering which ones you all prefer (e.g., support for Mega install, cheap, reliable hardware, USB port, etc.) I've used an ASUS WL-500G Premium ...
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31 votes
7 answers
49k views

Ethernet cable too long?

I have an Ethernet cable running from a Huawei ADSL router to a computer> The total length is 61 meters (200 ft). When connected to the computer, a cycle of identifying, disconnected, identifying, ...
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31 votes
6 answers
42k views

Why do most routers not include local DNS?

I need to change my firewall/router, and I'd prefer something with built-in DNS to resolve queries on the local subnets. I've got a mixed Linux/Windows system, often with only one computer turned on, ...
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30 votes
4 answers
39k views

Two Routers are fighting each other on LAN

My apartment is quite large and most rooms have several walls, meaning Wifi signals drop easily. To combat this I found a spare DSL Router I had previously and placed that in the Kitchen and ...
30 votes
7 answers
33k views

Does DD-WRT QoS actually work?

There have been various reports of DD-WRT QoS not working (here, here and elsewhere). The DD-WRT QoS Documentation mentions some checks would indicate whether the proper priorities are being applied ...
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29 votes
9 answers
13k views

How can Internet speed be 10 times slower without a router than when using the same connection with a router?

I am trying to figure out what is the realistic "speed of service" that my Internet company provides to my house. Here are the test that I am running: Internet ↔ modem ↔ wireless router ↔ laptop: ...
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29 votes
2 answers
30k views

Does the order of entries in the routing table matter?

Does the routing order matter: > route -n Kernel IP routing table Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface 123.x.x.151 0.0.0.0 255.255.255.255 UH ...
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28 votes
4 answers
182k views

What's DMZ used for in a home wireless router?

As far as I understand, by using DMZ you expose all of the host computer's ports to the Internet. What's that good for?
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28 votes
6 answers
296k views

Connect to internet with wifi, while wired to a different LAN through ethernet

So I have a small router I'm connected to through an ethernet cable, and I'm having multiple devices connecting to that router through wifi, so they can view my computer screen. Screen sharing on ...
28 votes
2 answers
53k views

What is the difference between a subnet mask and a netmask?

Is there any logic in using two different names for determining host ID and net ID? For example, if you type print route in a Command Prompt you get things with netmask, but the IPv4 settings seems ...
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28 votes
3 answers
116k views

Are there good alternative HTTP ports rather than port 80?

I have been looking for some documentation on alternatives to port forwarding to port 80. I have a dedicated Linux machine on a home router, and apparently utilizing port 80 is not an option. Are ...
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27 votes
3 answers
19k views

Wi-Fi stops working when I attach wireless mouse to my laptop

I am using an HP 15-r249TU, and today I bought a wireless Redragon 2400DPI mouse. When I attach the mouse adapter to my laptop, my Internet connection stops working instantly. I have a TP-Link router ...

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