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Difference Between Private and Public IP Addresses

Before we get into the factors that make an IP address private or public- we will first know what’s an IP address. The IP address refers to the unique number associated with a device. Websites and devices establish communication with each other using their IP addresses. In this article, you will dive deeper into the difference between private and public IP addresses along with the specifications allotted to each of them.

What is a Private IP Address?

It is basically the address that a network router assigns to any device in the network. Every device operating within the same network possesses a distinct private IP address (also known as the private network address). It is how various devices in a similar internal network interact with each other. This IP address of a system lets it communicate with other devices/systems within the same network. One can both send or receive information and data within the very same network using a private IP address.

Devices in the same network use private IPs to establish direct communication with each other with no internet connection. In any given network, the private IPs assist in boosting extra security because they make it very difficult for any user or external host to establish a connection. For instance, they work in your office or home. So you can easily print documents with a wireless connection at your home. On the other hand, your neighbours won’t be able to (accidentally) send their documents to your printer.

Your router also uses your local IP address for directing the internet traffic internally. In short, it helps your router to return the search results to the PC you are operating instead of any other device connected to the same network (your partner’s cell phone or your cell phone).

What is a Public IP Address?

This IP address is directly accessible over the internet. Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) assigns it to your network router. It lets a user establish communication outside their network. Every personal device that you own also has its own Private IP address. It remains hidden while the device connects through the public IP of the concerned router in a network.

When a device uses the public IP address for connecting to the internet- it is just like a person utilizing the P.O. box for snail mail instead of using the home address. So, it is safe and yet more visible.

Are Public ID Addresses and External IP Addresses Different From Each Other?

Both the terms- external IP address and public IP address are interchangeable and have a similar implication. They both indicate the very same function. An external (or public) IP address lets a user connect to the Internet from the inside of a network to the outside of it.

Difference Between Private and Public IP Addresses

Parameters Private IP Address Public IP Address
Scope The Private IP addresses have a scope among the present or local network. A Public IP address holds a scope globally.
Format The Private IPs of various devices have a uniform difference among them. The Public IPs of different devices also differ in a varying range- with no uniformity whatsoever.
Communication The Private IP Addresses help a user to establish communication within the existing network. A Public IP Address helps a user in communicating outside their network.
Address Provider The Local Network Operator uses the network operating system to create Private IP addresses for the devices in the vicinity. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) has control over the allotment of Public IP Addresses.
Locating the Address One can locate the Private IP Addresses using the ipconfig command. You can find it with the internal settings of your device. One has to search their Public IP address on the Internet using a search engine (for example, Google). You can easily find it by Googling the phrase “What is my IP?”
Working The Private IP Addresses work only on the LAN. You can use the Public IP Addresses to avail of the Internet services.
Type of Code Your Private IP Address is a non-unique code (numeric) that other devices can reuse in various other private networks. Your Public IP Address is a unique kind of numeric code that no other device can reuse.
Cost Your Private IP Address remains free of cost. Your Public IP Address possesses a cost.
Range The Private IP Address ranges are as follows: to, to, to

Except for the Private IPs, all the other IPs stay public. Thus, your Public IP address doesn’t have a limited range.
Example An example of a Private IP Address is An example of a Public IP Address is

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