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routers vs IP

Ishin asked 2 years ago

can someone please explain the difference between the router and my IP. I am not a complete idiot about computers, but IP and routers I think im slow.
You see my wife somehow got a ransomware on her computer. She took a pic of it and sent it to me freaking out. I came home that night and fixed the problem. But then she went and posted the pic on facebook and didn't black out the IP.
So just to be on the safe side. I went to the linksys site and changed my IP for my router. My reasoning was that then if i did a release/renew i would have a new IP but that didn't work out right.
Now after reading on here, it seems I should unplug off my router for 8 hours then maybe I will get a new IP.
So if this sounds right, please let me know.
Also, I kind of thought that the router would block anyone from seeing my IP, and only see the routers IP. Why my mind is having problems wrapping around this I dont know lol.
thanks for any help and explanations in advance.

2 Answers
Shnerdly Staff answered 2 years ago

I guess the first thing to understand is that the Router establishes your External IP address with your ISP and the Computers connected to the Router usually get their Internal IP addresses from the DHCP server in the Router. The router then keeps track of which computer requests what information from the Internet and returns the correct data to appropriate computer.

You appear to be using a Cable Internet Provider. I don't usually recommend changing your IP as a security measure but if you have had malware on a computer and the External IP was made public including the specific information regarding the malware, it might be a good idea.

In your Linksys Router there should be a place to clone the WAN/Internet MAC Address. That would be what your ISP uses to assign the External IP. I would recommend cloning it to the same MAC address of one of your computers or a network controller that you have in your physical possession. There should be a button to click to clone the MAC of the computer you have accessed the Router with. That's the simplest way.

[B]This is Important![/B] After you clone the MAC address, YOU MUST do a cold boot of the Cable Modem to allow the MAC to be recognized. To do this, unplug the power cord from the Router and the Cable Modem. Make sure all lights are off on the Cable Modem, some have battery backups in them. The battery would need to be removed to do the cold boot. After both units are powerd off, restore power to the Cable Modem only and allow it about 60 seconds to boot. Then start the Router giving it about 30 seconds to boot. Then start your computer. You should then have a new External IP.

If your not familiar, the default access to your Router would be [url]http://192.168.1.1[/url]

Don't worry about that link being public. Other people will only access their own Router if it's at that address. It's an Internal address that will not give anyone access to anything on your local network.

Rob Vargas Staff answered 2 years ago

[QUOTE=Ishin;8967]can someone please explain the difference between the router and my IP. I am not a complete idiot about computers, but IP and routers I think im slow.[/quote]
Nah, you're not slow. Some of this is just simply how a bunch of techies decided to make it all work.

Think of it this way: In order for the Internet to work, it's got to find your address. That's your IP Address. I'm sure you've got that.

But there's a problem: more devices (PC's, switches, routers, TV's, Refrigerators, etc) than there are IP Addresses. At least until we all move to IPv6, but we'll discuss that another time. As things stand now, too many devices, not enough numbers.

So a genius thought up a band-aid solution: Network Address Translation (NAT, aka port forwarding). Put a device direct connected to the Internet, give it the Internet-facing IP, and then every device on the inside of that network uses its own set of IP addresses (usually one of the "reserved" sets of IP's). Some device on the inside manages that set of private IP's. Usually the router, though it's not mandatory.

Your PC doesn't know anything about NAT. It just knows that it has IP xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx The Internet only sees that one outside IP the router has, yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy. The router passes out the traffic from your PC, and "translates" your inside IP to the outside one. The Internet only sees the one device, and the one devices keeps a complicated sort of database to remember who is doing what. So when you come to WIMI, it sends you the response from our server, and not your wife, or your kid's iPad.

It gets a bit complicated from there. But do you understand the idea? The router's inside interface (or whatever device is managing private IP's) sees an inside network and IP's. The Internet and the router's outside interface see a public IP address managed by your ISP.

[QUOTE=Ishin;8967]You see my wife somehow got a ransomware on her computer. She took a pic of it and sent it to me freaking out. I came home that night and fixed the problem. But then she went and posted the pic on facebook and didn't black out the IP.
So just to be on the safe side. I went to the linksys site and changed my IP for my router. My reasoning was that then if i did a release/renew i would have a new IP but that didn't work out right.
Now after reading on here, it seems I should unplug off my router for 8 hours then maybe I will get a new IP.[/quote]

Maybe. It depends on the ISP and how you get that IP. See, your ISP is actually using a router not all *that* different from your Linksys. It uses a function called DHCP to issue and manage IP Addresses. Addresses are leased. Literally borrowed for a time, a time called the Lease Time. I've seen lease times as long as 7 days. ISP's want flexibility, but they have to balance the load of issuing new IP's all the time. Turns out that 8 hours is considered the optimal compromise.

[QUOTE=Ishin;8967]So if this sounds right, please let me know.
Also, I kind of thought that the router would block anyone from seeing my IP, and only see the routers IP. Why my mind is having problems wrapping around this I dont know lol.
thanks for any help and explanations in advance.[/QUOTE]

That's basically true. The problem is that if a potential hacker knows how you're addressed on the inside, they can use that to target their scans and probes more precisely. So the Internet sees only the router's "outside" IP (the one we show you when you come here).

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