ARCHIVED: What is a network's default gateway, and how can I find out what mine is?

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A gateway is a routing device that passes traffic between different subnets and networks. A computer will know some routes (i.e., the address of each node a packet must go through to reach a specific destination), but not the routes to every address on the Internet. A gateway will likewise not have this information, but will at least know the addresses of other gateways to which it can hand the traffic.

Your default gateway is on the same subnet as your computer, and is the gateway your computer relies on when it doesn't know how to route traffic. Though your default gateway and your IP address may share many of the same numbers, they are not the same. To see your default gateway:


  1. In Windows 7 and Vista, click Start. In the search box, type cmd, and then press Enter.

    In Windows XP, from the Start menu, click Run.... In the "Open:" field, type cmd, and then click OK.

  2. This will open the command prompt. At the prompt, enter ipconfig. This will display your network information, including your default gateway.

Mac OS X

  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences....
  2. In System Preferences, from the View menu, select Network.
  3. Select the appropriate port. For example, choose Ethernet for broadband connections, AirPort for wireless, or Internal Modem for dial-up.
  4. Click Advanced..., and in the sheet that opens, click the TCP/IP tab. The number next to "Router:" is your default gateway.

This is document ajfx in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:55:03.