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Difference between Private and Public IP addresses

Last Updated : 20 Sep, 2023
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IP Address or Internet Protocol Address is a type of address that is required to communicate one computer with another computer for exchanging information, file, webpage, etc. In this article, we will see the classification of IP Addresses and the differences between Public and Private IP Addresses. Before proceeding with that, let’s see what is an IP Address with an example.

If someone wants to send a particular file or a mail to you from his/her computer, then an address is required to communicate with you without the confusion of delivering that information to any other computer, that’s why an address is required and that address is called an IP Address. IP Address is unique for each computer.

Classification of IP Address

An IP Address is basically classified into two types:

  • Private IP Address
  • Public IP Address

What is a Private IP Address?

The Private IP Address of a system is the IP address that is used to communicate within the same network. Using private IP data or information can be sent or received within the same network. The router basically assigns these types of addresses to the device. Unique private IP Addresses are provided to each and every device that is present on the network. These things make Private IP Addresses more secure than Public IP Addresses.

Can we trace Private IP Address?

Yes, we can trace Private IP Addresses, but this happens only by using other devices on the local network. Devices that are connected to the local network has private IP Address and this can only be visible to the devices that are connected within that network. But it can’t be seen online as it happens in public IP Addresses.

What is a Public IP Address?

The Public IP Address of a system is the IP address that is used to communicate outside the network. A public IP address is basically assigned by the ISP (Internet Service Provider)

Public IP Address is basically of two types:

  • Dynamic IP Address: Dynamic IP Addresses are addresses that change over time. After establishing a connection of a smartphone or computer with the Internet, ISP provides an IP Address to the device, these random addresses are called Dynamic IP Address.
  • Static IP Address: Static Addresses are those addresses that do not change with time. These are stated as permanent internet addresses. Mostly these are used by the DNS (Domain Name System) Servers.

Can we trace Public IP Address?

Yes, Public IP Addresses can be traced back to the Internet Service Provider that can easily trace the geographical location. This might reveal the location very easily to advertisers, hackers, etc. For using the Internet anonymously, you can easily hide your IP Address by using different ways like VPN, Tor Browser, etc. But among different ways, VPN is the fastest and most secure way of using the Internet.

Difference Between Private and Public IP Addresses

Difference Between Private and Public IP Addresses

Difference Between Private and Public IP Addresses

Private IP Address Public IP Address
The scope of Private IP is local. The scope of Public IP is global.
It is used to communicate within the network. It is used to communicate outside the network.
Private IP addresses of the systems connected in a network differ in a uniform manner. Public IP may differ in a uniform or non-uniform manner.
It works only on LAN. It is used to get internet service.
It is used to load the network operating system. It is controlled by ISP.
It is available free of cost. It is not free of cost.
Private IP can be known by entering “ipconfig” on the command prompt. Public IP can be known by searching “what is my ip” on Google.

Range: –, –, –

Range: Besides private IP addresses, the rest are public.
Example: Example:
Private IP uses numeric code that is not unique and can be used again Public IP uses a numeric code that is unique and cannot be used by other
Private IP addresses are secure The public IP address has no security and is  subjected to attack
Private IP addresses require NAT to communicate with devices Public IP does not require a network translation

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Whether a device can have both Public and Private IP Addresses at a time?


Yes, a device can have both Public and Private IP Addresses at a single time. This usually happens when Network Address Translation connects the local network to the Internet.

2. Can we access the Internet with our Private IP Address?


Yes, we can access the Internet with our Private IP Address. Router having both private and public IP Addresses connection, becomes an intermediate in connecting or accessing Internet.

3. Differentiate between Private vs Local vs Internal IP Addresses.


As like public IP Address and external IP Address can be interchanged, similarly in that way private and internal IP Address can be interchanged and a private IP Address is also called as Local IP Address.

4. How does a Public IP Address differ from an external IP Address?


Public IP Address and External IP Address are similar terms. This helps you in connecting to the Internet from inside to outside your network.

5. What is the range of Private IP Addresses?


The range of Private IP Addresses is defined by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and it never appears on the Internet. The range can be associated under:

  • Class A: –
  • Class B: –
  • Class C: –

6. What is the range of Public IP Addresses?


Public IP Addresses can be any number except those that are reserved for private IPs. But the main thing is that it must be unique.

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