Difference between Public and Private IP Addresses

Learn everything about public vs. private IP addresses, why to protect them, and their big differences

Are you struggling to differentiate between public vs. private IP addresses?

If yes, then you are not alone. In this article, we will explain everything about public vs. private IP addresses, why to protect them, and their big differences.

But before that, let’s understand what an IP address is!

What is an IP address?

An IP address is a confidential numeric series or a code that keeps the identity of a device and its owner. It also holds the location address of an internet device and serves to identify the network interface.

Public IP

An IP address is crucial to identify the interface of the devices connected to a network. All the internet devices (such as laptops, PCs, android phones, iPhones, and tablets) use IP addresses to communicate with each other.

Is it necessary to protect an IP address from hackers?

Yes, securing your IP address and keeping it hidden from hackers is essential because they may use it for malicious purposes. They can use the IP address of your network device to access your personal information, identification, and location.

An IP address is the recognition of your devices. Your data is safe if it is unknown to a hacker or unauthorized person. On the contrary, if they trace your IP address, your valuable data and information become accessible. 

What is meant by public IP address?

A public IP address is a global or public address assigned by the ISP (Internet Service Provider). ISP assigns a public IP address to your router to connect and communicate with the rest of the internet.

You can arrange your server and control access to your computer through the public IP address on your computer. The public IP address on your router enables you to supervise and access your valuable data from any other global computer network.


Moreover, a public IP address allows you to establish your home server (WEB, VPN, etc.) and publicize it on the internet. It is also termed an External or WAN IP address.

What are private IP addresses?

Private IP addresses are reserved IP addresses designed for use in computers operating in closed local area networks. Computers get IP addresses from the networks and routers to which they are connected. A router accurately directs traffic within its network with the help of private IP addresses.

A private IP address is designed for interacting within a small place in a home or business company. Therefore, we cannot access our data and perform video camera surveillance through it using another network globally.

A Private IP address is also known as an Internal IP address.

Key Differences between public vs. private IP addresses

Understanding the difference between public vs. private IP addresses is essential if you want to establish a secured home internet.

Here are some crucial differences between public vs private ip address;

Public IP Address Private IP Address

A public IP address is a global numerical address assigned to the devices interacting on a WAN.

A private IP address is a reserved series of numbers assigned to the network-connected computers operating on a LAN.

We can search and uncover the public IP addresses on the internet.

A private IP address is an internal address that cannot be routed on the internet globally.

It provides communication over a Wide Area Network, outside a private network.

It allows communication between the devices connected to the internet inside a private network (a business or home.)

The public IP address is a unique series of numbers that other devices cannot use.

A private IP address is a local numeric code that can be used by other computers operating in other private networks.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns a public IP address to the devices.

A router assigns a private IP address to a particular computer connected to that network.

We can find our public IP address by searching “What is my IP address?” on google or chrome.

We can find the private IP address in the internal settings of our computer.

How to recognize whether an IP Address is public or private?

You can easily identify whether an IP address is public or private by determining its ranges. Compare their given numeric codes against the actual ranges of private vs. public IP addresses. All private IP addresses have numeric codes that start with 10, 172, or 192.

A private IP address may range from to 10.255.255, to, and to

Whereas a public IP address begins with a number not included in the private IP address ranges. However, a few public addresses may also start with 172 and 192.

A public IP address may range from to, to, and to

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Published on October 3, 2022 by Beatrice Stefanescu; modified on January 23, 2023. Filed under: , , , , .

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