If you see the number such as 192.168.l.254 somewhere on your router then you should know that such number represents an IP address of it. Most likely it is a default IP address of the router. Commonly, 192.168.l.254 is a default IP address for these routers: 2Wire, aztech, Billion, Gigabyte, Motorola, Netopia, SparkLAN, Thomson and Westell modems for CenturyLink.
What Is Router?
A router is a network device that enables transfer of data packets between computer networks. That means that a router makes easier sharing of home Internet connection as well as sharing resources among home computers.
If you have some local network,it can connect many devices. For example, it can connect your computer with some other computer (for example laptop), a printer, a tablet, etc. However, this kind of network is a private network. It doesn’t have access to the Internet and because of that, you will be unable to send any data to any device outside of your local network. To do that, you need to have a router. So, a router is a device that can enable data traffic between different local networks. It can do that because the router can be connected to the Internet. Hence, a router is a mediator between private and public network.
How Router Mediates Between Private and Public Networks?
For any device to be connected to a local network, it needs a private IP address. That address doesn’t need to be globally unique, although it needs to be a unique within the local network. This means that some local network cannot contain two absolutely the same IP addresses. However, there might be the same private IP address that is assigned to some device from any other local network.
On the other hand, if some device is connected to the public network (that is to the Internet) than it is necessary that such device has a public IP address. As opposed to private IP addresses, public ones have to be globally unique ones. It means that there are no two identical public IP addresses.
Because a router is on the one side part of a private network and on the other side part of the public network then it has to possess two IP addresses – one private (LAN – local area connection) and one public(WAN – wide area network).
Every router has default private IP address. It is an IP that manufacturer embedded in it. For example, 192.168.l.254 could be one of them. You can find the default IP address of your router in supporting documentation. If you can’t find it there, you could try to find it on the Internet. Just type the name of your router in the browser with “default IP address”and you will probably find it.
You should know that there is a possibility to change this IP address. Just bear in mind the fact that different IP address must be a private one. There are a limited number of IP addresses that are reserved for private networks and you must use one of them.
Another thing you must look at if you are changing the IP address of the router is the fact that you have to avoid possible IP address conflict. There mustn’t be two identical IP addresses within the local network. The best way to avoid any issue with the IP address conflict is to avoid changing of the router’s IP because while it has a static private IP address, other devices on the home network usually have dynamic ones. This means that those other devices will automatically change their IP addresses to avoid conflict.
On the other hand, a router gets its public IP address from the Internet service provider. As it is already said, this address is unique. Because of that, you are unable to change it. Only an Internet service provider is responsible for its assignment to the router.
However, WAM address – as public IP address is also called – can be identified. You can view it on a router console. Another way is to visit some Web-based IP address lookup service from your computer. Notice that there is a possibility for public IP address to be changed over the time. But that can do only Internet provider in order to re-allocate different addresses.
192.168.l.254 as Default Gateway
A private IP address is also known as “gateway” because all devices from a private network can have access to the Internet only through a router. And since all these devices are connected to the router via its private IP address than it is their gateway to the Internet.
We said that there are a finite number of IP addresses that are reserved to be private. All these addresses are classified into three classes that represent three different ranges of addresses. The IP 192.168.l.254 is an address from so-called class C which contains all addresses from 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255. The address 192.168.l.254 is last real address from this range because 192.168.255.255 is a broadcast address and it cannot be used by any device. Because it is the last real address, there is an opinion that 192.168.l.254 is a very good default gateway because all other addresses from the range between 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.253 can be assigned to different devices.