is a private IP address which is often used by router manufacturers as a default gateway address (or Router’s Default IP). is sometimes the first IP address assigned to some device within a private (home) network (if your router’s default IP address is which is the most common one).

This article will offer you some basic info on IP addressing and different IP protocols and it will help you make a distinction between public and private addresses and static and dynamic addresses. After that, you can read about default gateways and learn how to use as a default gateway and how to make adjustments through router’s setup page.

Why do we need IP addresses?

Every device you have (smartphone, laptop, PC, or tablet) must have an IP address for communication purposes within a network. Whether you are using your device inside a small home network, larger corporate network, or you are trying to access the internet, that device must have a unique IP address (just like you must have a home address in order to receive mail).

Sets of rules that define the process of assigning IP addresses to different devices are called Internet Protocols. The protocol that’s been in use since 1973 (and it still is) is called IPv4. This version of Internet Protocol defines IP address as a 32-bit code made of four 8-bit sequences (in binary) which can be translated into decimal notation and when you translate it you will get four numbers (each ranging from 0 to 255) separated by dots. This protocol is simple to use and it’s been very helpful for many years, but the only problem is that it offers a limited amount of IP addresses (4.294 billion IP addresses). This is a really big number but the internet is getting bigger and bigger every day and, in a few years, it won’t be enough. In order to prevent any problem (like having no available IP addresses for new devices), people from IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) came up with a new protocol. This one is called IPv6. It’s improved IPv4, and it defines IP addresses as a 128-bit code made of eight 16-bit sequences. As you can see, IPv6 addresses are much longer. Since you have 128 bits now, the number of possible combinations of 0s and 1s (the number of available IP addresses) increases significantly and with this protocol, we will have 340 undecillion addresses at our disposal. All IPv4 addresses can be translated into IPv6, and we will still have an incredible amount of IP addresses left for future purposes.

The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is currently undergoing and it will take some time, but IPv4 is still official protocol and is IPv4 address assigned in accordance with this protocol.

The main reason that prolonged the life of IPv4 is the introduction of private IP addresses.

Public and Private IP addresses

As you probably know, all the IPv4 addresses are divided into 5 classes and three of them are being used (A, B, and C) while 2 other classes (D, E) are designed for multicast and experimental purposes. Considering the number of unique IP addresses within the first 3 classes, the number of IP addresses would be insufficient if another separation wasn’t made. All the addresses from Classes A, B, and C are divided into 2 groups – public and private. Public addresses are those that can be reached through the internet, while private can’t. The introduction of blocks of private IP addresses is the main factor that prolonged the life of IPv4. All these private IP addresses (10.x.x.x (Class A), 172.16.x.x to (Class B), 192.168.x.x (Class C)) can be used within home networks or within corporate intranet networks. The best thing is that every company can use these addresses. Two companies can use the exact same range of IP addresses for their computers and there is no conflict since they don’t access the internet with these addresses. These private IP addresses are used for communication within companies and whenever some device needs to go online, its private IP address gets masked with public IP address assigned to the company. Introduction of private IP addresses enabled multiple companies and home networks to use the exact same IP addresses for a bunch of devices.

Static VS Dynamic IP addresses

The other thing that prolonged the life of IPv4 was the introduction of Dynamic IP addresses.

First, let’s make a distinction between static and dynamic IP addresses since that’s the easiest thing to do and almost self-explanatory. Static IP addresses are those that never change (certain IP address is assigned to one device only and it stays with this device) while dynamic IP addresses change all the time (different IP address will be assigned to your device every time your device gets connected to a network).

If you don’t understand why is this important, this example will make things much clearer. Let’s assume that you have 3 computers connected to a server that offers a scope of only 3 IP addresses and that server assigned 3 static addresses to these computers. At some point, one of these computers is removed (or just shut down). This computer takes the static address that’s been given to it and if another (fourth) computer appears, there is no available address for it since that 3rd computer occupies IP address even when it’s removed. When you have a server with the same number of available IP addresses (so, 3 IP addresses), but in this case, these IP addresses are assigned dynamically (which means that IP addresses are not given to computers but rather leased for some period of time or until computers are removed or shut down), when you remove one computer, the IP address that was used is returned back to the server’s pool of IP addresses and can be leased to another computer. That way, more computers can use available IP addresses.

Static IP addresses are still important for some devices like printers and file servers (if you own a company you want these devices to have an IP address that never changes so that every device within a small company network can contact printer or file server at any time). Also, if you are hosting a website and you use your home network for that, you will need a static IP. If you have dynamic IP, every time IP address changes you would have to change your router’s settings. If you don’t do that no one could access your website. With static IP address, you won’t be having these problems. For other purposes, dynamic IP address is more than enough.  

Most of home networks use dynamic IP addresses, so you expect to see different IPs every time you go online. If you need a static IP, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can assign it to your device but it will cost you a bit more.

Default Gateway – What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Default gateway is an IP address just like any other but there is one special thing about it. This IP address is also known as a default IP address of a router. This address is of crucial importance when it comes to adjusting your network connection and configuring your router. There is not only one default IP address for all the routers. Router manufacturers can basically use any private IP address as a default gateway but some IP addresses are more used than others. The most common addresses are those from 192.168.x.x block of private addresses within Class C (,, The address from the title is often the first IP address that can be assigned to a device (when the default gateway is but it can also be the default IP address for some routers. as a Default IP Address – How to Use It?

The process is the same with every default gateway address. Open your browser (any browser) and enter You don’t have to enter http://, just the address. If that’s correct default IP address for your router, the login page will appear. If this is your first time to enter this page, default username and password should be enough to open the configuration page (defaults are usually admin, Admin, Administrator, or N/A). You can set up a wireless connection, adjust security settings and add exceptions to firewall settings, set static IP if you need one, make DHCP reservation, etc.

Changing Default IP Address of Your Router

Router’s configuration (or setup) page can also be used for changing default gateway and it’s pretty easy. You just have to go to LAN settings and change the default gateway address and use the appropriate subnet mask. Still, changing default gateway is not recommended since you could choose an IP address that is already being used by some other device on the network and cause an IP conflict that way.

Checking Router’s Default Gateway

If you have no idea what is the default gateway of your router, there are many different ways of checking it. You can use commands ‘’ipconfig” or ‘’ipconfig /all” in command prompt if you are Windows user, ‘’netstat -r” in Terminal if you are Linux user, or ‘’netstat -rn” in Terminal if you are Mac OS user. For a detailed, step-by-step explanation with pictures, you can read our article on IP address.

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