What is an internet gateway and how do they work?

An Internet gateway is a network "node" that connects two different networks that use different protocols (rules) for communicating. In the most basic terms, an Internet gateway is where data stops on its way to or from other networks. Thanks to gateways, we can communicate and send data back and forth with each other.

Gateways can take several different forms from hardware to software - including routers and computers - and can perform a variety of tasks. These can range from passing traffic to the next 'hop' on its path to filtering traffic, proxies, or protocol translations. Because gateways are, by definition, at the edge of a network, they are often combined with firewalls, which keep out unwanted traffic or 'foreign' computers from a closed network.

For Internet connections at home, the Internet gateway is usually the Internet Service Provider (ISP), who, in this case, offers access to the entire Internet through its own network. If you have a Wi-Fi connection at home, your Internet gateway is the modem or modem/router combination that your ISP provides so that you connect to the Internet through their network.

If your Internet gateway is a computer server, which is more likely in an office or business situation, it acts as a firewall and a proxy server. A firewall, as discussed earlier, keeps unwanted traffic and outside computers out of a private network. A proxy server makes sure that the actual server can handle your online data requests.

How routers work as gateways

Routers are often Internet gateways. They are a piece of hardware that essentially connects your computer to the Internet. In home networks, it is usually something that comes with software you can install on one computer and then connect other computers to as well. Then everyone connected to your router can connect to the Internet through your ISP. While a router can be connected to more than two networks at a time, this is usually not the case for routers used at home.

When you send a computer through your computer, your router will figure out the next destination of the data depending on the networks it's connected to. This is how a router acts as a gateway because it controls the path through which the information is sent and retrieved.

In short, an Internet gateway is one of the ways that information is sent and delivered to us as we use the Internet. It is what gives us the ability to access other networks to view web pages, initiate downloads or uploads, buy things online, and more.

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a lot like an address or phone number that identifies a device like a computer, smart phone, or printer. If you'd like more information for what an IP is and does, go here - Internet Protocol.

What is a public IP address?

Public IP addresses are used to communicate over the Internet. Like a home address, a public IP addressed is used to determine where to deliver data requested by a certain router.

Generally these IP addresses are signed by the Internet service provider (ISP) by a router and can switch when a computer is connected to a different network. This means that if you and your friend are both connected to the same WiFi, you will be assigned the same public IP address, but will have different private IP addresses.

If you would like to know what your public IP address is, go here: My Public IP


So then, what is a private IP address?

A private IP address cannot be used to contact a computer over the Internet. These IP addresses are used in local area networks (LANs) and do not connect to the Internet so therefore they afford an extra layer of security. Private IPs are also assigned to devices like your home computer so that only you can print to your printer.

Typically, a network address translation (NAT) device will communicate with the Internet to see if incoming data was requested by a computer with a private IP address. If not, the information is discarded before reaching the computer.

The organization that is responsible for handing out IP addresses reserves ranges of IP address for private networks: -; -; - These blocks of addresses can be used by anyone anywhere. The assumption is that since these addresses are only used in private, closed networks, even if your neighbor is using the same range of IP addresses right next door, it will not matter because the two networks will never connect to each other so there will not be a conflict.

If you would like to know what your computer's private IP, you can check on a Windows system by going to the command prompt and typing in 'ipconfig' and hitting enter. If you're using Linux, go to the terminal and type 'ifconfig'. Finally, if you're a Mac user click on the apple, go to 'System Preferences', then click on 'Network'. Under 'Status: Connected', it will show the IP address.

IP cameras can be wildly useful, and therefore they can assist in a range of situations and circumstances. To choose the right IP camera for your situation, first you should nail down exactly what you're going to use the camera for. Is it for security at your restaurant? Do you want to keep a watchful eye on an employee you don't trust? Or a babysitter? Before you start seriously looking for a camera, you also want to decide what your price range is. Only look at cameras within your budget.

Once you've decided on its function and a reasonable budget, answering these questions will help you hammer out what your ideal IP camera is.

  1. Indoor or Outdoor?

    For outdoor use, look for a camera that is waterproof, weatherproof, and vandal proof. Usually these types of cameras will be made out of metal or an alloy, which makes them more rugged and able to withstand the potentially harsh outside conditions. Conversely, if your camera will be used inside, none of these features will be necessary.
  2. Do you need PTZ or a fixed lens?

    A PTZ function can help you cover "dead areas," areas which otherwise wouldn't be covered by a fixed lens camera. PTZ stands for pan, tilt, and zoom and cameras with this feature can usually cover up to 350 degrees panning and 90 degrees tilting. On the flipside, if you only want to monitor a set scene (for example, a baby room) you won't need a camera with this functionality.
  3. How Clear Does the Image Need to Be?

    The next factor to consider in your search for the right IP camera is image quality or resolution. Megapixel IP cameras provide much higher resolution and therefore better quality images that VGA cameras. VGA cameras compress images into MJPEGs, a lower quality image format, than megapixel IP cameras. If you need clear, sharp, detailed pictures, the megapixel IP camera is the right choice.
  4. Wired or Wireless?

    If the camera you're installing is far away from a router and will not be able to pick up a wireless signal, obviously the camera needs to be wired.
  5. Installation

    The last, but certainly not least, factor to consider in your search for the perfect IP camera is installation. Some cameras can be easily installed by yourself and others require costly installation by a professional. Avoid complicated DDNS network setup and look for cameras with a P2P function instead. It is the fastest and easiest network setup function, even for someone with no technical knowledge.

An IP address is a unique string of numbers that is assigned to a computer when it connects to the Internet or another network. This "address," if you will, identifies your computer from the other millions of computers connecting to the Internet.

The IP address is a necessary component to a computer's ability to surf the Internet, however, it can also lead others to finding out information about you.

Why hide your IP address?

There are many reasons for someone to want to hide or conceal their IP address when surfing the Internet. Here are a few more common reasons:

  • Bypass any bans to your IP address, like for an online game.
  • Access websites banned due to country policies or access websites unavailable certain countries.
  • Be anonymous while browsing online.
  • Protect yourself when using a Wi-Fi hotspot.

How to hide your IP address

You can conceal your IP address with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN offers connectivity to another network and assigns your computer another IP address. The traffic routes through the VPN which means that your computer's real IP address assigned by your Internet service provider is hidden.

VPNs can be free or paid services. If you can't afford or don't want to use a VPN, another easy, free way to get a new IP address is to connect to a different Internet signal. That can be accomplished as easily as going to Starbucks and signing onto its Wi-Fi.

When you connect to the Internet, your Internet service provider (ISP) assigns your computer an IP address, which acts as an identifying marker to differentiate your computer from the hundreds of thousands navigating the World Wide Web. Depending on the Internet plan you have, your computer will be allocated a dynamic or static IP address. Unless you have an increased level of service - like a business - class Internet service plan - your computer most likely has a dynamic IP address.

Can Changing Your IP Address Keep You Safe?

Getting a new IP address from the same ISP will not protect you from hackers stealing information or having an email traced back to you. Changing an IP address will help if you're banned from a network (like an online game) or you generally want to fool another network that you're a different person.

How to Change the IP Address of a Router

A router, the device that connects your computer to the Internet, is assigned a public IP address, while each computer on that router's network is assigned a private IP address. When your computer connects to the Internet, the IP address that is displayed is the router's public one. That means that if you want to change your computer's publically displayed IP address, you have to change the router's IP address.

Turn it off and back on: The IP address protocol is generally to assign the same device the same IP address, however, if you turn it off for a minute and turn it back on a few times, you might get lucky and get a new IP address. If that doesn't work, try turning it off overnight and restart the router in the morning.

How to Change the IP Address of a Computer

Turn it off and back on: Like a router, sometimes simply shutting down a computer might give it a new IP address.

Use another network: IP addresses don't travel with you so accessing the Internet from a Wi-Fi café, frien's house, or somewhere else should get you a new IP address.

Renew your IP address: You can obtain a new IP address with Windows ipconfig utility.

On Windows 7 and below, click Start -> Run and type cmd. On Windows 8, type WIN key and X key to summon the Power User Menu. Select Run.

On the Command Prompt screen, run "ipconfig /release" and "ipconfig /renew" commands. You can then verify that you have a new IP address by visiting What Is My Public IP. Keep in mind that because of the IP address protocol, you might have to run this command several times to achieve a successful result.

What If I Have a Static IP Address?

While it is highly unlikely for you to have a static IP address unless you have an increased level of service on par with a business-class Internet plan, however, an ISP can set a long lease time for an IP address which makes it looks like a static IP address. If that is happening, you may not be able to change your IP address without leaving your modem or router unplugged for more than eight hours.

Most people jump to website design when they think of the first step of building a powerful, traffic-driving website, but choosing the right domain name is much more vital to the success of a website. When you consider the difficulty of switching websites to a new URL and the potential lost traffic and diminished SEO ranking, it's clear that choosing the right domain is important at the beginning.

While these days it is harder to find easily available domain names with thousands of domains registered to new users every day, it is still crucial to choose the right domain name that will help brand your company for years to come.

  1. Choose A Unique Name

    Research the name you are considering to see if it is close to an already popular domain name. Never choose domains that are plurals, misspelled, or hyphenated versions of an established domain. Be wary of choosing a domain name that could infringe on a copyright leading to a lawsuit.
  2. Brand Yourself

    Choosing a domain name that brands your website or your company is a smart move. Domains like AutoTrader.com, WebMD.com, and CareerBuilder.com are all great examples of effective branding. The domain name tells the user what the website will do. Other big-name companies like Amazon and Monster required much more company branding because the names are less intuitive.
  3. Don't Go Crazy with Key Words

    Gone are the days when key word URLs would gain good Google ranking. While key words still play a role, it is more important now to have a catchy, memorable URL for your users than a string of confusing key words.
  4. Pick a Dot-Com Extension

    Dot-coms add legitimacy to your website as well as driving traffic to it. Dot-coms are the expected norm with over 75% of websites using a dot-com extension. That means that folks that are not tech-savvy default to using .coms so do not make the mistake of losing that traffic. If you are not going to use a dot-com extension, you should still purchase it, and redirect traffic with a 301.
  5. Make It Impossible to Misspell

    Avoid commonly misspelled words, hyphens, or intentional misspellings. Also avoid numbers because it is hard to remember whether it should be a numeral or written out. Keep it simple. The easier to remember, the easier to spell, the easier to type and the more traffic will make it to your website. Best practice is to choose a domain name with only one possible spelling.
  6. Keep It Short

    In the same vein, keep your domain name short. Shorter domains are easier to type and easier to remember. Short domain names also work better for other media, like business cards, where it will fit more easily.

When you are ready to register a domain name, make sure you go here to make sure it's not already taken.

Now that you have your domain, do not let it expire. Worst-case scenario is that someone will snap it up before you can repurchase it. Either set a reminder on your calendar, or if your registrar offers an auto-new service, take advantage of it.

In today's connected world, fast Internet is essential, but sometimes Internet can be frustratingly slow. Here are a few tips to boost your speed and maximize your Internet connection.

  1. Power Cycle the Modem/Router

    Turning your modem or router off and on again can reset your connection, which could help improve performance.
  2. Set Your Router to Reboot Periodically

    Buy an outlet timer and set it to turn off and on sometime during the night when you will not be using the Internet. Rebooting your router systematically like this can help the system reset your connection and keep Internet speeds fast. This can also help reduce the number of times when you have to manually reset the router, which is very helpful when your router is in an inconvenient place - like the attic.
  3. Invest in Up-To-Date Hardware

    One of the easiest, best ways to make sure your Internet speed does not get bogged down is to ensure you use up-to-date hardware. A router that is built for high speed Wi-Fi will help ensure your connection is fast and reliable.
  4. Find the Right Spot for Your Router

    While traditionally hidden away, routers should not be hidden behind walls or other obstructions. For a clear Wi-Fi signal, the router should be out in the open with the antennas pointed perpendicularly. If you want the best coverage possible for your entire house, make sure the router is centered. Routers also do high up, so antics are sometimes a great option.
  5. Get Rid of Interference

    Other appliances and electronics like cordless phones and microwaves can clog up your Wi-Fi signal. If the GHz on your cordless phone matches the GHz of your router, it could slow down your connection. While buying a dual band router can help, if you don't want to invest in new appliances, moving your router away from any interference should help minimize the issue.
  6. Tighten Security

    Wi-Fi thieves can be a source of frustration so tightening security can keep thieves out and boost Internet speeds. Passwords can be easy to crack for computer-savvy hackers, so if you suspect someone is using your network, kicking them out can be as simple as changing your password. Using a WPA password will be harder to crack and help keep protect your network from prying eyes.
  7. Control Bandwidth-Heavy Applications

    Streaming applications like Netflix and Hulu, online games like World of Warcraft, torrenting files or video chats are all Internet applications that may be hogging bandwidth. Fortunately, you can use Quality of Service - QoS for short - to prioritize bandwidth for specific applications. This ensures that those applications get the bandwidth they need.
  8. Connect Directly

    If all else fails and you need lightening fast Internet speeds, try directly connecting your computer to your Internet connection via an Ethernet cable. This will maximize your connection while eliminating Wi-Fi issues like interference.

With these simple tweaks, you can ensure that your Internet connection is fast and reliable all the time. Once you have made these modifications, come to this website to re-test.

IP addresses are being talked about more and more. Chances are, you've probably heard that your computer has one, but did you know that phones, and even soda machines have them? What exactly is an IP address?

Breaking it Down - What is an IP Address?

"IP" stands for "Internet Protocol" while "address" refers to a unique serial number assigned to a single computer. This Internet protocol number is linked to all online activity your computer does. In simplistic terms, the IP address is like a computer fingerprint. Just like no two fingerprints are ever the same, no two IP addresses are the same, which distinguishes your computer from the thousands of other computers on the Internet. Every machine connected to the Internet has an IP address, including game consoles like XBox and PlayStation, smart phones, and fax machines.

What do IP Addresses Look Like?

IP addresses come in two common formats: IP Version 4 and IP Version 6. All computers have an IP Version 4 address, which are comprised of four numbers-only segments separated by periods. They look like this:

  • 0.0.1
  • 15.43.22
  • 48.108.101

Some computers have also adopted IP Version 6 addresses, which are more complex. They are comprised of eight segments using both alpha and numeric characters separated by colons. They look like this:

  • 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf
  • 21DA:D3:0:2F3B:2AA:FF:FE28:9C5A

Following the Rules

Virtually all computers are connected to the Internet, whether it's through e-mail, web browsing, or streaming videos. An IP address plays a significant role in your computer's ability to request and receive information from the Internet. A computer's networking software is wired to follow a list of protocols, rules that enable the computer to connect to the Internet, by swapping information and data back and forth through the network. One of those rules, the Internet Protocol, is responsible for addressing, delivering, and routing online requests accurately. To do that, the Internet Protocol attaches a unique number to every request: the IP address. Computers use the IP address to distinguish itself from the other thousands of computers accessing the same network.

Is your computer's IP address always the same?

No, in fact, an IP address not something your computer invents for itself. Since an Internet service provider (such as Comcast or CenturyLink) is the company granting your computer access to the Internet, it is the Internet service provider's responsibility to assign an IP address. This means that when you computer connects to a different Internet network, the IP address changes as the new Internet service provider assigns a new IP address. So if you go to an Internet café and use their free Wi-Fi, yo'll be using a new, albeit temporary, IP address. Your computer's IP address can even change at home if you do something like reset the modem.

See For Yourself

Luckily, the IP address is assigned automatically which means that you don't have to "lift the hood", so to speak, to seamlessly surf the Internet. However, if you're curious you can go to www.whatismypublicip.com to see your IP address.


This website is a great resource for all of your IP needs. What is My Public IP has three things we want to help you with:

  1. Determining your external-facing IP address
  2. WhoIs Lookup
  3. Internet Speed Connection Test

In addition, this website is chockfull of information about IP addresses, the Internet, domain names, and more. We want to be your resource for anything IP related.

Our homepage is where you will find what your public IP address is. There is also information there that outlines what an IP address is and why it matters.

Next is our Whois Lookup page. This is a great resource where you can find information about domain names, including ownership, server information, and registration expiration dates.

Here is where you will find information about our Internet speed test, including how the test works and troubleshooting. If you do have a slow Internet connection, here is a blog post with some tips to boost your speed.

If you are still looking for more resources, hop over to our blog and see what we've recently posted. We keep our blog updated on the latest tips and tricks.

Please enjoy the resources available on the blog as well as the tools the website offers. Please check back often for more blog posts as we are constantly adding more information to stay updated.

If you have any questions or would like to chat, please do not hesitate to contact us through our Contact Us form.