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Page 8: How Routing Works

This is very important to have some basic knowledge of routing before you can set up a LAN or webserver.

This is very common that you have two or three computers at home or in office that sharing a single broadband line from your ISP. I will use a most common case as an example.

You have three computers. Now you want two computers for working (e.g. browse Internet, doing homework, etc...) and one computer as a Web Server. The situation is shown in the following diagram:

network routing

Basic concept:

  • You are connected to a small home Local Area Network (LAN).
  • Your LAN has an Internet connection.
  • The Internet connection is made through a router connected to your home LAN and your home's connection to the ISP.
  • The router act as a Gateway.
  • As a Gateway, it has a connection and an IP address on your LAN.
  • The Gateway also has an IP address assigned by your ISP.

Since, the LAN has only a single connection, routing is a simple matter. Here's how routing works:

Each computer is configured with a default Gateway, which is the IP address of the router on your LAN. Whenever a computer on the LAN wants to connect with a computer outside the LAN, it sends the request to the Gateway IP address (i.e. the router). The router is then responsible for redirecting the information to your ISP.

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