I have a laptop and a wireless router at home.

  1. Is this LAN ?
  2. Is this private network ?
  3. Is every LAN a private network?
  4. If true for question 1, where is my proxy and firewall ? Built inside router ?
  • 2
    home network is off topic
    – Gadeliow
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 18:02
  • Question 1 is true, but the other questions can't be answered with the little information you have provided. You are getting answers for the most likely situation, but they don't necessarily reflect what you actually have. This is the sort of question that belongs on Super User since home networking is off-topic on this forum.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 18:30

3 Answers 3


Based on your question I think you are kind of new to these subjects like I am new to the forum. Local Area Network refers to a network that is geographically or location wise at the same place/locality and doesn't span large areas as the name suggests. IS your home a network? Yes it is. Why? Because you have at least 2 devices within the same IP subnet which is communicating. Any device that you will connect to your router will have an IP address from the same range and they will be part of your network. You could connect a printer and start printing once you tell your PC/laptop where to go for printing because they can communicate. So you are a little community at home. This is a LAN.

Private Network doesn't necessarily refer to privacy in the classical sense. Private Networks are the IP ranges that are designated for home/company local area networks. Private IP subnets are: / 8 /16

That means you can use these subnets at home. You and your neighbour's LANs can have the same IP subnets, they can be used by other people as long as their networks are not in contact/adjacent. These are called private because these IP subnets can not travel to internet, tehy won't be routed. That's a rule, it is given. Why? Because they are not unique. Internet is one big network and IP adresses there cannot be duplicates. This is why, at the edge of your network, there will be a device like a router or firewall whose partial job is to translate your private IPs to a/some Public IP(s). If you check your PC's IP address and tthen go to whatismyip and check your IP you will see different IP addresses. Whatismyip will show you what public IP address your ISP assigned you at the time. These addresses are called public because hey are really public. Maybe you can find similarities between this and telephony world. You may have extensions in a building which can't be called from public world, but there will be either one or more public phone numbers at the edge of your building where people can reach and wich will show up as your number when you call somewhere outside your building. This is exactly how private and public IPs work.

You also asked about proxy. There isn't necessarily a proxy at homes. A proxy is who asks for websites outside your network on behalf of you. You can install one at home, tell your other PCs to use this proxy and they will start forwarding web requests to proxy first and it will call them. What is the point? If you are on a company network, applying policies like URL filtering and firewall policies will be easier because you will be able o collect all web traffic at one place and then apply what you want. Traffic may come to proxy which will itself check your request against your URL filtering policies either hosted on itself or some other server/computer and it will allow or block. There are otther uses for a proxy server where for example you are in the UK but want to forward all your web requests to France as if you were based in France.French server would request the pages for you and bring the results to your PC.

Is every LAN a private network? Sort of but not necessarily. You could in theory use public IP addresses at home behind a firewall and this would still be a LAN.

Hope this helps.

  • This is a rather confusing answer. Also, RFC 1918 address ranges are,, and
    – Ron Trunk
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 1:46
  • Ron, I had a problem adding the comment, somehow it was marked as spam and I wasn't sure why, so I had to change couple of things. I tried to say there were 16 x C class private networks in I may have worded it wrong. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 5:17

Yes, you have a LAN, cause you are in an área network, but locally. If you add more equipment to your network, conneting to the wireless router, all the equipment will still be in the same network, the only difference is that, you are in a Wireless LAN. Your router have an DHCP service running, is the proccess that make possible give one IP address to all equipment in your home. And, by the other hand, your are in a private network, cause im 99 % totally sure you are using an IP address in the range of: 192.168.x.x/24 10.10.x.x/24 172.16.x.x/24 or something like that. Your can surf the web and find information about this IP ranges, calleds, Private Ranges, cause is for using into a LAN, behind a firewall, or a Proxy. Your firewall or proxy, must be located in your ISP equipment, that is on charge of communicate to you with the internet, with real IP


Yes, that is a LAN and it is private network(It uses Private Network range IPs:Private Network). Depending upon your router, the router may have simple firewall(E.g. DD-WRT firmware for routers has simple firewall) and other functionalities inbuilt. I guess, proxy is not required in your home LAN. Generally it would be in Offices, Collegs to reach other networks (Check Here for Proxy)

  • Not all home networks use private addressing with IPv4, and they use global addressing with IPv6.
    – Ron Maupin
    Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 18:06
  • Yes, you are right @RonMaupin. If the router is configured the IPv6 setting, we could get the global IP(64 bit of network address+48 bits of MAC+16 bits EUI-64) Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 18:24

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