The most crucial parts that you need to know about your mobile and computer devices are both the public and private IP addresses. Nowadays, the cybercrime rate is increasing as most people are working from home. This means it is very important to know your IP address because it can be used to reveal to the internet your identity.

But first, what is an IP address? An IP address is a unique address that is used to identify a device on the local network or the internet. “IP” is simply a short form of “Internet Protocol.” An example of an IP address is 192.1.0.0.

The major types of IP addresses include public IP addresses and private IP addresses. The main key difference between the two IP addresses is that the public IP address identifies your device directly to the wider internet in order to access all the information you are looking for. A private IP address is commonly used within a certain private network to connect directly and securely to other devices that are within the same network.

Though they are both types of IP address, they have similarities as well as differences. But mostly, they differ in features, purpose, and other areas.

Public vs Private IP Address: Side-by-Side Comparison

Public IP addressPrivate IP address
Definition:A public IP address is an IP address that can be directly accessed over the internet and is allocated to your network by your ISP (internet service provider).A private IP address is an address that your network router directly assigns to your device.
Connection:This IP address connects you to the wider internet in order to be able to find all kinds of information that you are looking for.This type of IP address is commonly used only in a private network in order to connect securely to other different devices in that same network. 
Communication:A public IP address is mostly used to communicate outside your network.A private IP address is commonly used to communicate just within the private network with any other device in your home or even your office.
Work:A public IP address works for getting internet services.Private IP addresses only work in Local area networks (LAN).
Location: You can only find your public IP address by just Googling on the internet “what is my IP address?”To find your private IP address, you only need to look for it in the internal settings of your device.
Cost:Public IP addresses always cost you to use.Private IP addresses are always free to use. 
Service provider:The public IP address is mostly controlled by the internet service providers (ISP). A private IP address is created by a Local Network Provider by the use of network operating systems.
Disagreements:Most of the public IP addresses disagree in the varying range.Most of the private IP addresses disagree in a certain uniform manner. 
IP address scope:The scope of a public IP address is a local to present network.The scope of the private IP address is global.
Numeric code:Public IP addresses use a numeric code that is unique and that cannot be reused by any other device.Private IP addresses use numeric code that is not unique and can be used again by any other device that uses a private network.
IP address range:All other IP addresses are public except private IP addresses. Any other number that is not in the private IP address range is a public IP address range. An example of a public IP address: 17.5.7.8The private IP addresses ranges from: 10.0.0.0- 10.255.255.255,172.16.0.0- 172.31.255.255,192.168.0.0- 192.168.255.255.An example of private IP address: 192.168.1.10

Public vs Private IP Address: 10 Must-know Facts

  • Private IP addresses cannot be routed on the internet, therefore no traffic can be used to send to them directly from the internet. They can only operate within the LAN (Local Area Network).
  • Public IP addresses use a specific numeric code that cannot be used again by any other device.
  • Private IP addresses are free of charge.
  • Public IP addresses can be routed directly to the internet, unlike other IP addresses like private IP addresses.
  • Private IP addresses have a very unique and special numeric code that can be reused by other devices using other private networks.
  • Public IP addresses come with a cost.
  • A private IP address is a certain type of IP address that is kept for internal use behind other NAT (Network Address Translation) devices or routers other than public.
  • A public IP address is a type of IP address that can only be accessed over the internet directly and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) assigns it to your network router.
  • Private IP address providers are the local network operators who produce the private IP addresses by just using the network operating system.
  • The provider of a public IP address is the ISP (Internet Service Provider). It is under the control of the public IP address.
  • Private IP addresses are mainly used in communication that is outside your network, through the internet.
  • A public IP address is used in communications that are within the private network as well as with other devices that are in your office or home.
  • To find your public IP address, you only need to go into any search engine like Google and search for “what is my IP address?”
  • To search for your private IP address, you can only find this on your internal device settings. This will depend on the device you are using, like Windows, Android, iPhone, e.t.c.

What is a Public IP Address?

A public IP address is a certain type of IP address that can be accessed over the internet directly and is provided to your network router by your ISP (internet service provider). Even with the public IP address, the device still has a private IP that is secret when you connect your device to the internet by using your router’s public IP.

In contrast to a private IP address, which cannot be routed, this type of address can be directly routed to your device. With a public IP address on your computer or router, it will allow you to organize your own servers such as FTP, WEB, and VPN, among others, give remote access to video surveillance cameras and your computer, and allow them access from just about anywhere within your global network.

By using the public IP address, it is very easy to set up any server at home to publish it directly on the internet. For example, VPN (PPTP/IPSec/OpenVPN, WireGuard), WEB (HTTP), game server, NAS, media (audio/video), and FTP, among other home servers.

All sites and servers that are on the internet use public IP addresses. The IP addresses that are also on the internet are very unique to their server or host and can’t be duplicated. For most home users, an internet service provider can provide them with one or even more public IP addresses because it is a paid service.

Features

  • You can only receive a public IP address from ISP.
  • One cannot reuse a number that has already been used.
  • It is very easy to know your public IP address by only searching on Google.
  • Public IP address scope is available on all the internet.
  • The services provided are charged by the internet service provider.
  • It must go through the web so that it can be utilized.
Pros!Cons!
The application doesn’t need to handle any issues with the protocol that mostly arise from network Address Translation (NAT).
Public IP addresses aren’t secure because they can be hacked easily by intruders.  
The routers don’t need to deal with Network Address Translation (NAT).
It is an expensive resource and also limited.
Any kind of device can provide internet services without any need to configure the forwarding rules of the port.
Public IP addresses have communication freedom because there are no restrictions.

What is a Private IP Address?

A private IP address is just a certain address that is assigned to your device by your network router. Each device that uses a private IP address has a specific private address, also known as the private network address.

It allows devices to directly connect with just the same network in order to communicate with each other without the need to connect to the entire network. The private IP address aids in bolstering security in a specific network. These specific networks may include your office or home, by making it more difficult for any external user or host to identify the connection.

A private IP address is a way your router has to direct the traffic of your internet internally. This means that your router can only return the search results directly to your computer, but not to any other device that is already connected to your network.

Other different devices that are on your local network can trace most private IP addresses. The devices that are connected directly to your local network each have a unique private IP address. Devices that are just within that network can only view this private IP address. Your private IP address can’t be viewed online.

Private IP addresses are mostly assigned within three classes: 

  • Class A: 10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255
  • Class B: 172.16.0.0-172.31.255.255
  • Class C: 192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255

These private IP address ranges can be used on another private network at any time in the world. Most of the IP addresses that are commonly used are 192.168. This range format is assigned to most routers on the globe.

Features

  • In order to discover certain information, you will be required to access the device’s interface or the router.
  • The main aim of a private IP address is to complete a certain task or any project within the local network.
  • It is free to use.
  • Mostly, it is used for communication with different devices that have a network.
  • It has a sequence of numbers that can only be used by other different equipment in the network.
Pros!Cons!
It is more secure to use than a public IP address.
It can be isolated from other networks.
Private IP addresses are self-contained.

Summary of Public vs Private IP Address

Public and private IP addresses are the two major types of IP addresses. A public IP address is an IP address that is used to give access over the internet and is assigned to your network by your internet service provider. On the other hand, a private IP address is an address that your network router assigns directly to your own device.

The main key difference between the two IP addresses is that the public IP address identifies your device directly to the wider internet in order to access all the information you are looking for. A private IP address is commonly used within a certain private network to connect directly and securely to other devices that are within the same network.

Public vs Private IP Address: What Are The Differences? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are public and private IP addresses?

 A public IP address identifies a user to a wider internet to be able to find all the searched information while a private IP address within any private network to connect securely to other different devices in the same network.

What are public and private IP addresses used for?

 Public and private IP addresses are used to allow information to be sent as well as receiving information by correct parties. They can also be used in tracking the physical location of the user.

What is the range of a public vs private IP address?

 The range of public address is just any number that is not used in the private IP address like 8.8.8.8 while the range for private IP address ranges between 10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255, 172.16.0.0-172.31.255.255, 192.168.0.0-192.168.255.255.

How do I find my IP address?

Finding your IP address is very easy whether you are looking for a public or private IP address. To find your public IP address, you only need to use any search engine such as Google and type “what is my IP address?” and it will definitely show you your public IP address.

To find your private IP address, you need to go to settings of your device, then select network and internet. On the left side, choose status then click Properties. After scrolling down, you will find your private IP address on the IPv4 address. This method can be used for iOS, Android, and Mac.

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