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Old January 31, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Perineum Perineum is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Surrey, B.C.
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The easiest analogy I can come up with would be the difference between a home vs office setup for phones.

Home phone setup (switch) has all the phones on the same phone #, and only one can be used at a time.

An office phone setup (router) has all the phones on the same MAIN phone number, but each individual phone has it's own extension. The main number will get you to all the phones in the office, but only if you know the extension of the person you need to talk to.

In a computer setup, that's how the router acts like the firewall. If someone hits your outside IP address it only gets as far as your router. The router looks at all traffic coming in. If the inbound request was not already asked for then it simply just ignores it. All the computers inside the network with the (usually) 192.168.x.x IP addresses are completely hidden, as that is the extension number. You can't hit that computer directly.

.... just like you can't dial 452 extension and get the person you want to get without FIRST dialing the main #. The extension number (and in this analogy the 192.168.x.x IP address) are not usable on the phone or internet network.

Anyway, that's my best, and simplistic, way of looking at it.
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