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Private and Public IP Addresses: What’s the Difference?

There are two types of IP addresses – private and public IP addresses. If you want to know what the difference between these two types of IPs is, the following article is for you.

Here we are going to try to make a clear difference between these IP addresses in a very simple way so that anyone can actually understand it.

What you need to know about Public IP Addresses?

Every single computer that connects to the Internet gets a unique IP address and this Ip is called Public. In simple terms, there are no two computers with the same IP address in the entire online world. With this system it is possible to find other computers when they are connected to the Internet. Generally, the users can’t influence the IP which is being assigned to their computer. This IP address is assigned to your PC by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) once the PC is online.

There are two types of IP addresses – dynamic and static. The static IP address is always the same or as the name suggests it is static. It is being used mostly by different web pages or online services. The dynamic IP address is simply picked between the huge numbers of available IP addresses and every time you connect to the Internet you get a different IP. At the same time, when you disconnect from the Internet the IP is released and someone else will get it once he or she connects to the Internet. If you are curious what is your IP address you can use many different websites online which make this quite easy. All you have to do is to visit them.

What you need to know about Private IP Addresses?

The thing about Private IP addresses is that they belong to the private IP range like LAN or Local Area network. There are three IP ranges reserved by IANA

  • From 0.0.0 to
  • From 16.0.0 to
  • From 168.0.0 to

These IPs are generally used to number PCs in private network systems like the ones we have at work, school or at home. With their help the computers can communicate with each other inside the network.

Let’s try to make everything bit clearer. If your network has a dozen of computers, every PC will get an IP address starting from to As we have said before the user has no control over the public IP he gets by the ISP, but when we use private IP addresses in the network we (as admins) have full control over the IP we want to use as long as it’s in the private IP range.

When private IP addresses are used the devices that use them can’t connect to the Internet directly. In the same manner, devices which are connected to the Internet can’t connect to devices in the private network system. However, if we have a router or another device which has NAT functions, we can easily connect these two networks.

When you connect the private network to the Internet with the help of your ISP, then every PC in the network will have both a private and a public IP. The private IP will then be used for communication between the computers in the private network, and the public IP will be used to communicate online. As you can guess, every user gets both of the addresses we have mentioned before.

If you want to find out what is the private IP address you can use the Command Prompt and the IPCONFIG command. The numbers you are looking for is listed as “IPV4 Address”. In most cases it is either or This IP is actually static which means it doesn’t change.

Other thoughts about Private IP addresses

A common misunderstanding is that many people think that private IP addresses are used to browse the internet anonymously. Actually, this type of IP address is the same as all the other IP addresses in the private IP range.

On the other hand all public IP addresses can be easily traced. So it is important to take good care about your online activity.

Also Read: How to Recover Deleted Photos from Your Computer

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