What is a port?
A port can refer to two things:
- A physical outlet into which cables are connected.
- An identifier of a specific service’s endpoint. Internet traffic always includes an IP address and a port, so internet traffic for a device can be forwarded to it.
What is a WAN port?
WAN stands for Wide Area Network. Typically, in a simple network the internet signal from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is on a WAN, which then passes through a modem, and carries the IP address provided by your ISP.
A WAN port is the port into which you plug a connection that carries a WAN signal. Typically this port is the “IN” port of a device such as a router or modem, carrying your internet signal, and is closest in a network layout to the wall jack.
With Winston, a router will treat the internet signal coming from Winston as a WAN.
What is a LAN port?
LAN stands for Local Area Network. Typically, in a simple network it’s typically the network created by a router, and carries the IP addresses created by the router.
A LAN port is the port into which you’d plug a connection to devices on your home network. Typically, this port is the “OUT” port of a router, carrying your internet signal to your home computers and IoT devices, and is closest in a network layout to those devices.
Winston will create a LAN with an IP address of 192.168.102.1 out of its LAN port. Your Router will treat Winston’s LAN like it’s a WAN, and create its own LAN, with its own IP addresses.
When do I use WAN ports or LAN ports?
A typical simple Winston network will have connections through these ports:
Wall jack → Modem → (WAN - Winston - LAN) → (WAN - Router - LAN) → computers and devices
Winston will translate a WAN (public IP address) into a LAN (IP address of 192.168.102.1), like a router would.
A router connected to Winston will treat the LAN coming from Winston as though it is a WAN.
For information about port forwarding, visit this article.