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Private IP address


A private IP address is a set of non-internet-facing IP addresses used within an internal network. Networking devices like routers use network address translation to provide private IP addresses.

Devices on the Internet or local networks are identified by their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Moreover, IP addresses allow data to be sent between networked devices.

Private IP addresses are widely used for LAN networks in residential, commercial, and enterprise areas. Every internet-connected device, including printers, cell phones, tablets, and PCs, has a unique private IP address. Private IP addresses are necessary for routers to recognize these devices and, in some cases, for the devices to recognize one another. A router generates private IP addresses for identification purposes.

Private IP addresses were originally intended to delay the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, which are one of the most common types of IP addresses. At first, it was believed that the 32-bit IP addressing system of IPv4, which has 4,294,967,296 possible IP addresses, would be adequate for all applications. However, as more devices connected to the internet were made, it became clear that something was needed to bridge the IPv4 gap and prepare for a future system. A variety of private IP addresses started to fill the initial gap due to network address translation and private IP addressing. Later, Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), a new addressing system, was introduced. IPv6 increases IP address lengths from 32 to 128 bits and is 1,028 times larger than IPv4 addresses.

Private addresses can be manually configured or assigned by the router via the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Once assigned, the addresses can communicate with each other via the router.

What is a private IP address used for?

Since private IP addresses are invisible to those outside of the network, they are frequently utilized for corporate and residential networks. Residential clients of internet service providers (ISPs) may also be given a single routable IPv4 address. A network address translator/port address translator gateway is used to translate that one address into several addresses so that various devices can have the allocated address. Multiple hosts can be connected with this method.

Because private IP addresses make it more difficult for an outside host to connect to a system, corporate networks use them for security. To further improve security, organizations also use private IP addresses to restrict internal users' access to the Internet.

What are the different private IP address ranges?

Both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are used in private IP addressing.

Private IPv4 addresses are classified into the following classes:

  • Class A. The configurations range from 0.0.0 to This class, which contains 8 bits for the network and 24 bits for hosts, is intended for big networks.
  • Class B. The range of configurations is 16.0.0 to This class, which contains 16 bits for the network and 16 bits for hosts, is intended for medium-sized networks.
  • Class C. The configurations range from 168.0.0 to This class, which contains 24 bits for the network and 8 bits for hosts, is intended for smaller networks.

Because private IP addresses can be reused on numerous private networks without consequence, their range appears to be limited. This varies from public IP addresses, which must all be uniquely identifiable.

IPv6 private address range sedds include the following:

  • fc00::/7 address block. These IP addresses are reserved for unique local addresses from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.
  • fec0::/10 address block. These address blocks were initially designated for site-local addresses. However, it has been deprecated by RFC 3879, and its use is no longer recommended. Instead, the fc00::/7 block should be used for similar purposes.

An IPv6 address is composed of 32 hexadecimal digits since IPv6 addresses are written in hexadecimal, which consumes four bits. The numbers are grouped in fours, with a total of eight blocks or groups.

How can you check your private IP address?

Most people don't need to know their IP address, but knowing it can be useful in some situations-like when connecting a computer to another networked device.

Each platform has a different process for locating a device's IP address.

  • To view the private IP address, enter cmd in the Windows search bar, then ipconfig in the command-line prompt.
  • To view your private IP address, go to system preferences and then click on network.
  • Choose your settings. Go to Wi-Fi, tap the i next to the network you are connected to, and the IP address will appear under the DHCP tab.
  • After choosing Settings, go to About and tap on Status. The IP address ought to appear.

Other devices can be checked via the connected router. However, the steps to accomplish this will vary depending on the router.

How to Find Your Private IP Address

Knowing your private IP address is only useful in a few, and for most people, rare instances.

A computer's local IP address can be used to establish a network connection with another computer, for instance, if you wish to use a mapped network drive. Remote desktop software can also be used to control a machine using a local IP address remotely. Port forwarding, the process of directing a specific network port from a router to a specific machine on the same network, also requires a private IP address.

By using Command Prompt and the ipconfig command, you may quickly determine your private IP address on Windows.

Which IP Addresses Are Private?

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has reserved the following IP address blocks for usage as private IP addresses: to to to

The first set allows over 16 million addresses, the second over 1 million, and the final over 65,000.

The IP ranges to constitute an additional private IP address range; however, they are exclusively intended for use with Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA).

In 2012, the IANA assigned 4 million addresses of for use in carrier-grade NAT environments.

Private IP addresses within Networks

Private IP addresses, as opposed to public IP addresses, are not visible to ISPs and web browsers. This gives them more privacy. Because the devices can't be accessed directly through the Internet, this can also help protect them to some extent. Websites can still obtain the public IP address of a private network, but they are unable to obtain the private IP address data from the particular device to which it belongs. Conversely, the device's IP addresses are more secure.

No device in the same private network can have the same private IP address; each is assigned a unique one. Two devices from different networks, however, can share the same private IP address because they will not interact with one another. Usually, interaction is limited to devices within one private network. It is required for some of the private IP addresses to be the same, as there are a finite number of them. This is usually not a problem, especially since private addresses cannot access the Internet directly. As a result, websites won't see several requests from the same IP address.

Who uses private IP addresses?

Nearly every device has a private IP address, and thousands of WiFi routers use internal IP addresses. Because the router establishes a private network that keeps assigned internal IP addresses hidden from outside users, networks are able to do this without encountering issues. Every device in a network is assigned a unique private IP address. Furthermore, each of these devices uses one public IP address, usually the router's IP address. You can see your public IP address on the WhatIsMyIP website's homepage, but getting your private or local IP address involves a few further procedures.

For home networks and routers,,,,,, and are some of the most often used internal IP addresses.

The router assigns devices connected to a network via WiFi local IP addresses. A connected device sends a request to a website, and the router uses Network Address Translation (NAT) to route traffic back to the original device and through your Internet service connection when it makes an internal request.

Reserved IP Addresses

Reserved IP addresses are an additional group of IP addresses that have even more restrictions. Though they are even more restricted than private IP addresses, these are comparable in that they cannot be used for online communication.

A well-known reserved IP address is This one, known as the loopback address, is used to verify the network adapter or integrated chip. There is no traffic sent via the public internet or local network addressed to

Although is the only address you'll almost never see in the real world, the entire range from to is technically set aside for loopback reasons.

Addresses ranging from to are also reserved but serve no use. The device will not work correctly wherever it is mounted on the network, even if you can get it to assign an IP address in this range.

Advantages of Private IP Addresses

In network environments, private IP addresses are advantageous because they are efficient, flexible, and secure. The following are the main benefits of using private IP addresses:

  1. Conservation of Public IP Addresses: Adopting private IP addresses has many benefits, including conserving public IP addresses. This ensures the optimal utilization of public IP addresses and reduces demand for them within local networks, as public IP addresses are limited.
  2. Enhanced Network Security: By adding an extra degree of security, private IP addresses enhance network security. Devices employing private IP addresses are shielded from potential dangers and unwanted access from unauthorized sources since they are not directly accessible from the internet. This aids in preserving the integrity and confidentiality of internal network resources.
  3. Simpler Network Administration: Private IP addresses facilitate network administration by simplifying the allocation and management of IP addresses within the local network. When assigning IP addresses to devices, network managers don't have to communicate with external parties. As a result, it becomes easier for network administrators to expand, troubleshoot, and maintain the network's infrastructure.
  4. Improved Network Performance: When organizations use private IP addresses, it leverages the best performance out of their network since devices on a network communicate with each other without the need for IP packet translation and routing. This creates faster data transferring and overall better network performance.
  5. Cost Savings: Implementing private IP addresses can also save businesses money. Implementing private IP addresses in local networks renders it unnecessary for a business to purchase many public IP addresses, which are limited in number and often come with additional costs. The avoidance of purchasing numerous public IP addresses can result in substantial cost savings for large-scale networks.

Because of their advantages, private IP addresses are a crucial component of network infrastructure. They enable organizations to build networks that are effective, safe, and cost-efficient while also meeting their unique needs using these addresses.

Public IP Addresses vs Private IP Addresses

There are two different kinds of addresses used in networks: private and public IP addresses. The main differences between private and public IP addresses are as follows:

  1. Scope: Public IP addresses are globally unique and accessible from any location on the Internet. They are utilized for external communication and are assigned to network devices that must communicate with the Internet. Private IP addresses, on the other hand, are only meant for internal use on local networks. They are used for internal communication between devices within the network and are not directly accessible from the Internet.
  2. Accessibility: Any device with an internet connection can contact public IP addresses, enabling both inbound and outbound communication between the device and the internet. On the other hand, private IP addresses can only be accessed within the local network. Private IP address devices are able to connect within the network, but they are not directly accessed from outside networks without the use of methods such as Network Address Translation (NAT).
  3. Number of Addresses: Because there aren't many IPv4 addresses accessible, the number of public IP addresses is limited. IPv4 supplies around 4.3 billion unique addresses, and as the number of connected devices increases, the demand for public IP addresses surpasses the supply. On the other hand, the number of private IP addresses is not limited. They allow businesses to establish effective and safe internal networks without requiring a sizable pool of public IP addresses because they are intended for usage within local networks and can be reused across several networks.
  4. Security: Because public IP addresses are directly connected to the internet, they may be more susceptible to security risks. Devices with public IP addresses are vulnerable to external threats such as attempted hacking or malicious activity from unknown sources. Because they can't be accessed directly from the internet, private IP addresses offer an extra degree of security. This helps to secure internal network resources by limiting the devices' exposure to external threats.
  5. Network Address Translation (NAT): Devices within a private network can connect with devices on the public internet due to a mechanism called network address translation, or NAT. NAT converts private IP addresses into public IP addresses. Data exchange is made possible via NAT, which serves as a bridge connecting public and private networks. It helps to conserve public IP addresses while improving private network security.

Understanding the differences between private and public IP addresses is critical for network administrators and people who manage local networks. It facilitates effective communication between devices connected to the network and the internet, helps to implement suitable network configurations, and enhances security measures.


In summary, private IP addresses are addresses that only work on the local/private network. On the Internet, these addresses are not routable. The network router basically assigns the address to your particular device. Every device connected to the same network is given a unique private IP address. Devices can communicate with one another on the same network in this way without having to establish a connection to the entire Internet. Private IP addresses can thereby increase security within a specific network. Unlike the public IP address, the private IP address is hidden from view on the Internet. Only devices within the local network can see each other's addresses.

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