What is a Default Gateway and How Do You Find It on Devices?
Your default gateway serves as an intermediary between your local network and the Internet. In other words, when your device, be it a PC, laptop, phone, or else, is connected to your home Wi-Fi, this gateway ensures stable and smooth communication between the device and the websites or apps you’re using. Also, a default gateway is responsible for many security aspects of your connection. So, what is a default gateway specifically, and how to find its IP address on your device? Read along to find out.
What is a local network?
The default gateway has a critical impact on how your local network functions. But what is that local network, in the first place? Let’s cover this essential concept before we move any further.
A local network is a certain Wi-Fi hotspot along with all the connected devices. Whether you’re using your home, office, or public Wi-Fi, the network consists of the router and multiple gadgets connected to it, from computers and phones to gaming consoles, smart TVs, security cameras, and so on.
For instance, your home Wi-Fi is a local network that allows your devices to communicate with each other, share data, and connect to the Internet with ease.
Now, what is the role of the default gateway on your local network?
What is a default gateway and its role on your local network?
A default gateway is the device that establishes the connection between your local network and the Internet. And, in most cases, this function is covered by a Wi-Fi router. Its main goal is to ensure stable and effective communication between devices, helping them access web servers (websites) and interact with each other. All the incoming and outgoing Internet traffic goes through your router.
Your online safety largely depends on your default gateway’s security settings. If it works properly, someone’s attempts to break into your home network, hack your devices, or steal your data will be nearly impossible.
Finally, each default gateway has its own IP address – a unique code required for online communication.
What is a default gateway address?
A default gateway IP address is a unique set of numbers also known as your router’s private IP address. With the help of this code, data travels from your router to external servers and back. That’s basically how you browse the Internet when connected to your local network.
Let’s say your default gateway IP is 192.168.1.1. While it’s necessary for computers to communicate with the Internet, it’s just a series of numbers for a human– so why bother?
Well, most likely, you need your default gateway address to enter your router’s settings. By typing your address into your browser’s search bar, you will access the admin panel of your router (in our example, you will have to enter https://192.168.1.1). Here are some common reasons why you may need to use this panel:
- To alter your SSID (network name)
- To change your password
- To set up ports and enable port forwarding
- To turn on or off Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol
- To change security settings, access permissions, and parental control
- To change DNS settings and more.
Luckily, you can easily find your default gateway IP address on any device, be it Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS.
How to find the default gateway IP address on your device
Here’s how to find your default gateway address on every popular device and operating system.
Windows 10 and 11
There are two ways to find your default gateway IP on a Windows computer – through the command prompt or Settings (Control Panel). Let’s consider both.
Here’s how to find a default gateway on a PC through the command prompt.
- Type CMD in your search bar and select Command Prompt.
- In the prompt window, type “ipconfig” and press enter.
- Your default gateway address will be displayed next to the Default Gateway section.
Settings or Control Panel
Take these steps to find your default gateway through your Settings app or Control Panel.
- Type Control Panel or Settings in your search bar.
- Open the Network and Internet tab.
- Select Network and Sharing Center in the Advanced network settings section.
- Right-click Wi-Fi and choose your network’s name.
- Click Details…
- Your default gateway address will be next to the IPv4 Default Gateway.
Here’s how to find your default gateway on a Mac computer or laptop.
- Click the Apple icon and enter System Preferences.
- Select Network.
- Open the Advanced section.
- Your default gateway IP address will be next to Router.
Take the following steps to find your default gateway address on an Android device.
- Head to Settings > Network & Internet.
- Select Wi-Fi and enter your network’s name.
- You will see your default gateway IP next to the Gateway section.
Here’s how to find your default gateway on an iPhone or iPad.
- Open Settings > Wi-Fi.
- Select your network’s name.
- Your default gateway will be displayed next to the Router section.
Finally, take these steps to find your default gateway on a Linux device.
- Type Settings in your search bar.
- Select Wi-Fi and click the settings icon beside your network’s name.
- You will find your default gateway IP next to the Default Route section in the Details tab.
As mentioned, finding your default gateway address is necessary when you want to access your router’s settings. But what can you do to protect your local network, exactly?
How to secure your local network
Since a default gateway is an essential access point to your home network, breaking through it will give malicious actors full access to your private data on any connected device.
But there’s an effective way to secure your home Wi-Fi and prevent unauthorized access. A virtual private network (VPN) will hide your IP address and reroute all your traffic through an encrypted tunnel (meaning that all your data will be transformed into gibberish no one can actually read). As a result, hackers, snoopers, and other third parties (including your Internet service provider) won’t be able to compromise your online presence and spy on you.
Most often, users install VPNs on common devices like computers, phones, or tablets. A VPN client is a convenient application with a simple interface and the ability to turn the tool on or off whenever you want. But if you want to secure your default gateway and protect all the data on your local network, installing a VPN on a Wi-Fi router is your go-to.
💡 Pro tip: Not all VPNs are equally effective. Moreover, most free services lack compatibility with many popular routers or even don’t support such devices at all. We recommend VeePN – one of the best VPN services available. VeePN supports multiple router manufacturers and offers a bunch of handy privacy and security features, including Kill Switch, Double VPN, and DNS leak protection. On top of that, VeePN offers a powerful Antivirus feature enabling you to protect Windows and Android devices from dangerous viruses and malware and run effective security scans.
That said, let’s figure out how to install VeePN on your router hassle-free.
How to install a VPN on your router
- Check out VeePN’s pricing plans and select the most suitable one.
- Sign up for VeePN.
- Enter your default gateway IP address in your search bar to access your router’s admin panel.
- Find the VPN setting (its name and location may vary depending on your router’s firmware).
- Download configuration files from the official VeePN website and follow the instructions to install them on your router.
- Check whether your VPN connection works properly.
For more detailed instructions, check out our recent guide on how to install a VPN on a Wi-Fi router.
Secure your default gateway with VeePN and keep your Internet connection safe at all times!
FAQ: What Is a Default Gateway?
What is a default gateway (with example)?
A default gateway is the device responsible for a smooth and secure connection between devices on your local network and the Internet. Usually, it’s a Wi-Fi router. For example, if your computer, laptop, smartphone, smart TV, and other devices are connected to the same router, they can share data, interact with each other, and send requests to Internet servers via your router. Read this article for more information.
What is your default gateway address?
Your default gateway IP address, also known as the router’s private IP address, is a set of unique numbers identifying your router and local network. With its help, you can access websites and receive data on your connected devices. Check out this article to learn more.
How to find your default gateway?
You can find your default gateway IP address through your device’s network or Wi-Fi settings. But the exact steps you need to take depend on your individual device and operating system. Read this article to find out how to learn your default gateway address on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.