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WAN port

WAN port

(also Wide Area Network port, internet port)

WAN port definition

A WAN port is the socket on a router that’s wired to an external network. WAN ports are used for establishing a connection with wide area networks like the internet. Small-scale networks (e.g., home offices or small businesses) typically use an RJ-45 Ethernet port. RJ-45 plugs and sockets look like large telephone plugs and sockets.

How a WAN port is used

  • The ISP (internet service provider) supplies a modem — but for the internet to work across your entire home network, you need to use a router.
  • A WAN port is a small port on the back of a router.
  • The WAN port is kept apart from the LAN ports and is usually a different color. Most routers have one WAN port and several LAN ports.
  • One end of the ethernet cable plugs into the router via the WAN port, and the other plugs into the modem.
  • Connecting the two devices allows the router to reach the internet and share the connection with your local devices (e.g., computers, cell phone, or printer).

Further reading

Ultimate digital security