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What are Private and Public IP Addresses

CCNA  Teacher
CCNA Teacher

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are usually of two types: Public and Private. If you have ever wondered to know what is the difference between a public and a private IP address, then you are at the right place.

What are Public IP Addresses?

                    A public IP address is assigned to every computer that connects to the Internet where each IP is unique. Hence there cannot exist two computers with the same public IP address all over the Internet. This addressing scheme makes it possible for the computers to “find each other” online and exchange information .User has no control over the IP address (public) that is assigned to the computer. The public IP address is assigned to the computer by the Internet Service Provider as soon as the computer is connected to the Internet gateway.

                   A public IP address can be either static or dynamic. A static public IP address does not change and is used primarily for hosting webpages or services on the Internet. And another one a dynamic public IP address is chosen from a pool of available addresses and changes each time one connects to the Internet. Most Internet users will only have a dynamic IP assigned to their computer which goes off when the computer is disconnected from the Internet. Thus when it is re-connected it gets a new IP.

  You can check your public IP address by visiting

  What is private address?

                   An IP address is considered private if the IP number falls within one of the IP address ranges reserved for private networks such as a Local Area Network (LAN). The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has reserved the following three blocks of the IP address space for private networks (local networks):

         – (Total Addresses: 16,777,216)

         – (Total Addresses: 1,048,576)

         – (Total Addresses: 65,536)

                  Private IP addresses are used for numbering the computers in a private network including home, school and business LANs in airports and hotels which makes it possible for the computers in the network to communicate with each other. Say for example, if a network A consists of 30 computers each of them can be given an IP starting from to Unlike the public IP, the administrator of the private network is free to assign an IP address of his own choice

             Devices with private IP addresses cannot connect directly to the Internet. Likewise, computers outside the local network cannot connect directly to a device with a private IP. It is possible to interconnect two private networks with the help of a router or a similar device that supports Network Address Translation.

            If the private network is connected to the Internet (through an Internet connection via ISP) then each computer will have a private IP as well as a public IP. Private IP is used for communication within the network where as the public IP is used for communication over the Internet. Most Internet users with a DSL/ADSL connection will have both a private as well as a public IP.

                         You can view your private IP in windows commend prompt by typing  ipconfig IPV4 Address   is your private IP which in most cases will be command in the command prompt. The number that you see against “ or Unlike the public IP, private IP addresses are always static in nature.

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Reader's comments(17)
1: thanks for this wonderfull article i clearly got the differences now
Posted by:TAMILSELVANKASI - 04 Jun, 2018
2: from where we get private ip
Posted by:Navi Rawat - 07 Jul, 2017
3: please which one of them is recommended for an internet cafe
Posted by:liz Addai - 08 Apr, 2016
4: why they provide sometimes private ip's
Posted by:bore - 12 Dec, 2015
5: Thank you :) got cleared with both the concepts
Posted by:Dev - 23 Jun, 2015
6: thanks for such a beautiful explaination..!
Posted by:Pragya - 01 Dec, 2014
7: what does this ip for?
Posted by:Eagertolearn - 24 Oct, 2014
8: it is public ip and itis a class b ip address it gives as network ip address when subnet mask is
karthik Replied to: Eagertolearn - 31 Oct, 2014
How u find this IP address( is a public IP address? can u explain that?
suresh kilari Replied to: karthik - 05 Oct, 2015
10: excellent....
Posted by:kuldeep singh - 11 Oct, 2014
11: how one can check his public ip..? I think that would be the default gateway address.
Posted by:sarv - 10 May, 2014
12: it was really informative
Posted by:anup - 09 Mar, 2014
13: gr8
Posted by:Siddhesh - 29 Jan, 2014
14: Thanks
Posted by:Ram - 29 Dec, 2013
15: Its gud...
Posted by:Leenendra - 08 Nov, 2013
16: Good to Know :-)
Posted by:bhanu - 22 Oct, 2012
are u shure???????????
jobin Replied to: bhanu - 06 Nov, 2015