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Man pages are not the easiest things to read, man man gives something of an explaination.
Note that static addressing is different than that supplied by nat addressing so what appears to the outside world is different to that which appears to be your 'gateway' as defined by netsat -r.
what happens within your 'home' network is much more easy to work out and based on the 'inet addr:' details given by ifconfig.
Distribution: slackware 12.2, scientific linux 6.4, knoppix 7.2, salix 14.1
I suggest Cisco Networing CNAA (title is something like that). This a set of vdeo lectures. What is network, what is OSI, how tcp/ip protocol works, where are they come from these strange numbers 192.168.0.1, and finally how to create your own network - home or small bussines. In short. It is pleasure to watch - each lecture last 40 min. and well, there is no that strange feeling that all this is too much difficult to understand - so it must be for superhuman beings. And you can watch doing other things. Don't ask me where to get this. On this you are on your own.