For your convenience we’ve prepared a glossary of terms you might come across when reading about router administration and network troubleshooting.

IP (Internet Protocol) or TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) — the addressing scheme used to identify devices and to group them into networks.
IP Address — a series of four numbers (0—255) separated by dots, which is unique for a device on the network and allows to deliver network information to that device.

Router (Gateway) — a device that checks the address of the target destination and routes the data packet to another subnet or the target computer/device. Desktops, laptops, mobile devices, printers and other machines grouped into a local network should be configured to know the router’s IP address (usually,, If you have a misidentified gateway problem, see How to look up the internal IP address of a router? for information.

LAN (local area network) — a bulk of devices connected into a network on a geographical basis (i.e. a building), where short distances allow for faster data transfer between the users, and a firewall between the LAN and the wider-area networks ensures a higher level of security. Wired and wireless LANs are usually operated by one household or enterprise each.

WAN (wide area network) — a network connecting computers over geographically dispersed locations via telephone lines or data cables. The Internet may actually be considered a WAN.

Ethernet — a hardware/software technology for wired data transfer, originally a baseband LAN developed by Xerox.

Wi-Fi — a technology of wireless data transfer via 2,4 GHz or 5 GHz radio bands based on IEEE 802.11 standard wich can be used by desktops, laptops, game consoles, tablets, smartphones and other devices.

MAC address (also known as Ethernet address) — a 48-bit code for Layer 2 networking maintained by IEEE and hardwired into network adapters, cellular phones and other devices.

DNS (Domain Name Service) — a hierarchical storage system for network address information, translating logical domain names to binary IP addresses and mapping machine names with IP addresses.