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What is a WAN Port on a Router?

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Welcome to Dev Odyssey Home Networking!

This episode answers the question "What is a WAN Port" and explains how it's a foundational piece to how we use the internet everyday. It explains how our devices utilize the WAN port, and other functionality, to go to websites and other web services on our behalf, so we can enjoy everything the internet has to offer.

Refer to the show notes below for a video summary.

Wide Area Network (WAN) Port - the port on your router, that connects to your modem with an ethernet cable.

Local Area Network (LAN) Port - the port on your router that connects you to the home network.

WAN is not Wireless Area Network, thats WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) and not a common term.

WAN is the public side of the internet, its assigned a public IP Address.
LAN is the local side of the internet (home network), and assigned a private IP Addresses, one per device on the network.

A router works by intercepting requests from the devices on the LAN, transforming the private IP address to a public one, and then going out to the internet (websites or web servers). Then this process works in reverse when going back to your device; The website or web server sends the request back to the router via the public IP, the router transforms the public IP back to a private IP, and forwards the information back to the device that made the request. This process is called Network Address Translation

WAN port is only used to connect to the internet, and not to connect to another router. To increase the size of your LAN and your WiFi network, you can connect them via LAN ports. This requires special configuration, refer to the article here:

https://networkingguides.com/connect-two-routers/

The best way to increase the size of your LAN or coverage of your WiFi, use a mesh router:

https://www.linksys.com/us/r/resource-center/whole-home-mesh-wifi/

Other Dev Odyssey Network videos:

What's in your Router?
https://youtu.be/Qv-FmaFRQHE

Your New Router is more Secure
https://youtu.be/2FrrSWVKWfw

Your Router is Not Secure
https://youtu.be/9dWHlAu5mbM

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