What is a Private IP Address?

Also commonly known as a Local IP address, a Private IP address is basically an IP address that is reserved for use on a private network.

Devices that use private IP addresses cannot be accessed by those that are outside their own network. Typically, the devices on private IP addresses are invisible to others outside the specific network but are visible to each other.

The personal computers, smartphones, or tablets at your home are all assigned a private IP address. Even the network printer in your home has a private IP address, which means that only the members of your family can use it to print documents.

Usually, when a computer is assigned a private IP address, the local devices within the network identify it through the private IP address. However, other computers outside the private network cannot identify or communicate with your computer through the private IP address. Instead, they use your router’s public IP address to communicate.

Usually, the only way to allow access to a local device that has a private IP address is by using a Network Address Translator (NAT).

Home Routers and Private IP Addresses

Home routers usually have their local address set to a default private IP address. They are often assigned a similar address with other router models made by the same manufacturer.

Here are a few examples of popular router models and their default private IP addresses;

1

NetGear and D-Link use 192.168.0.1 as their default IP address

2

Belkin and SMC routers use 192.168.2.1 as their default IP address

3

Linksys routers use 192.168.1.1 as their default IP address

4

Cisco routers have a variety of IP address- they include 192.168.1.1, 192.168.10.2, or 192.168.1.254

Understanding Public IP Address

Public IP addresses are used to help differentiate devices that are plugged on to the public internet. The public IP address is basically a system that is used by devices to communicate outside the network.

Unlike private addresses, public IP addresses are visible to anyone within the network. That’s exactly why it’s called “public.”

So how do public and private IP addresses work together to get you connected?

In theory, your personal computer must have its own unique set of IP addresses. This will ensure the only information it receives is meant for you, not to the public.

However, this doesn’t always work as network computers that are linked to a specific router share the sam

This is How it Works

The private organizations that distribute IP addresses around the globe reserve various IP addresses for private networks.

Your home network, with a router and all the connected devices, classifies as one of these private IP addresses.

When your router connects to the internet via your Internet Service Provider, it sends all your online activities to any computer or device that is connected to the router. Your router is also typically the basis of the Network Address Translation (NAT).

The Network Address Translation is the process in which your home router transforms your private IP address into a public IP address. It allows routers to act as an agent between the internet (public network) or a local network (a private network). This generally means that only one unique IP address can represent a complete group of computers.

And that’s the whole point of this to make your private address private-just for your router and your network.

Usually, private address ranges within a specific network do not need to be coordinated with the internet and the rest of the world. In fact, a private address range is used by more than one IP address. This simply means that an admin who uses such private addresses can obtain as many private addresses as possible.

Benefits of Private IP Addresses

Private IP addresses have numerous advantages. But the biggest one of all is the fact that they can increase your online security and enhance your online privacy while connected to the internet.

Learn more about the benefits of private IP addresses;

1.

Data privacy and protection- Since devices that are on a private network are not connected to outside networks on the internet, chances of information leaking are minimal. This means that any sensitive information can only be accessed from devices within the same private network. This makes private IP addresses ideal for homes and businesses that handle sensitive data

2.

Can’t be tracked and are unrestricted- private IP addresses are usually untracked and unrestricted. This makes it impossible for anyone to locate your computer with your private IP address

3.

More Secure- Typically, Private IP addresses are more secure compared to private addresses. This is due to the simple reason that private IP addresses cannot be accessed by any external networks. This means it’s practically impossible for malicious malware and viruses to attack the devices on a private network

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