What Are the Numbers on the Side of a Netgear Router?
Netgear routers include some sort of label or printed information on the side that can help you identify and configure the device. You may only use the information during the initial setup, but if the router encounters an error or is moved to another network, the numbers printed on the side of the device leave default and necessary setup information in an easy-to-access place that does not require turning on the device or entering setup mode.
1 Default Gateway IP Address
Netgear may include the default network configuration information on the side of the device. Routers use a browser-based configuration method that works just like a website. This allows all configuration access from any computer running any operating system on the network. The four number sequences divided by periods are the device's default gateway address: you can access the router's configuration by typing the gateway address into a Web browser instead of a site URL. The router itself may also include the default Wi-Fi network ID, username, password and settings PIN number near the gateway information.
2 Product Identification Serial Number
Netgear prints the router's serial number on the side of the device. The serial number is used to uniquely identify the specific router and usually includes some sort of model number identification within the number. The serial number is not used as a part of the device setup, but it may be used in the troubleshooting process if you contact Netgear support.
3 Device MAC Address
Netgear routers will include the device's Media Access Control address on the side of the device. The MAC address is a device-unique identifier used to tell each device connected to the Internet apart. MAC addresses are often used for security reasons. For example, your Internet service provider may request your router's MAC address when setting up your connection; if you change routers, you may need to contact the ISP to update this information. The MAC address is a six-string, two-digit hexadecimal sequence divided by colons. While the MAC address may use letters, those letters have numerical value. The MAC address uses the letters A-F to represent values for 10 through 15.
4 LAN Port Numbers
Netgear router side-labels may also include port numbers for the wired Ethernet connection ports. Each port has a unique number starting from one. The only time the numbers mean anything to the user (other than identifying which computer is connected to which port) is when the router supports an "uplink" port that can be used to expand the network. The uplink port is usually the highest-numbered port on Netgear routers. If the router isn't using uplink, the actual port numbers do not have any functional value within the network, as the router will configure all connected devices to any of the ports automatically.