Recognizing Your Internet IP Address: Public vs. Private

Main Points

7 Min Read |27 Nov 2023 | Key Words: Public IP, Private IP, IPv4 addresses, VPN, Cybersecurity

In the vast digital landscape of the internet, your online experience is influenced by a crucial factor: what type of IP address are you using?

This choice significantly impacts activities like web browsing, secure access, and online shopping.

In this exploration, we will unveil the mystery of IP addresses, revealing how this distinction impacts your internet life. Whether you’re a frequent internet user, a remote worker, or simply curious about how the internet works behind the scenes. Read on to the world of public and private IPs and their far-reaching effects on your online journey.

Why Use IP Addresses

For instance, when we write an email in our daily life, we need to know the recipient’s email address in order to send the email to them. IP addresses serve as unique identifiers for internet device communication. Without them, IP packets would wander aimlessly and fail to reach their intended destinations.

What is a Private IP Address?

IP Address

A private IP address refers to an IP address used within a local area network (LAN). These addresses are similar to public IP addresses but are not routed by internet routers onto the worldwide web. The range of these IP addresses is defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which includes IP addresses from to, to, and to can be freely chosen within a LAN without the need to apply for allocation from any organization.

Within a local area network, private IP addresses are used to configure and control devices such as personal computers, smartphones, network printers, and routers. Devices within the LAN can convey and interconnect through switches or routers. Additionally, Network Address Translation (NAT) technology can be used to convert private IP addresses into public IP addresses, enabling access to the internet when required.

In your home network, devices like laptops, smartphones, and printers have individual private IP addresses for internal communication. However, when these devices connect to the internet, their private IP addresses undergo a fascinating transformation. They are converted into a single public IP address, enabling access to online resources. This transition from private to public IP addresses is vital for broader internet connectivity.

What is a Public IP Address?

Your public IP address acts as the digital equivalent of your home’s coordinates, serving as a street name and house number within the vast internet neighborhood. It enables your router to communicate with the World Wide Web.

This unique combination of numbers, also known as an external IP address, is provided by your Internet service provider and is essential for online browsing. Once you’re surfing the web, your router uses private IP addresses to manage the internet traffic it encounters.

By searching engine to inquire about “what is my IP address”, you can unveil your public IP address. These sources might provide additional information like your ISP, country of connection, and sometimes the nearest city.

Differences between public and private IP addresses

Public and private IP addresses have distinct access characteristics despite serving the same purpose. Here is a short overview of the main differences.

These comparisons highlight key differences in the scope, visibility, uniqueness, costs, and assignment authority of public and private IP addresses.

Public vs. Private IP Address Ranges

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) designates specific IPv4 address ranges for private use. These ranges cater to millions of global private networks, catering to millions of private networks worldwide including:

Class A:–

Class B:–

Class C:–

These private IP address ranges may appear limited in size. However, their reuse within local networks works efficiently because these networks function independently.

In contrast, public IP address ranges are significantly broader, encompassing non-reserved numbers, to ensureuniqueness. The foregoing three classes are reserved exclusively for local networks. Beyond this, IANA maintains a registry of IPv4 special-purpose addresses that designates certain IP addresses for other specific uses, such as documentation.

Ultimately, your ISP assigns your public IP address from the vast pool of unreserved combinations, ensuring its uniqueness.

Why Use Private IP Addresses

Your devices at home are already equipped with private IP addresses assigned by your router. But why are they essential?

These unique private IP addresses enable your router to accurately direct internet traffic and facilitate communication within your home network.They act as glue holding your network together. Now, let’s explore how to find your specific private IP address.

1. How do I find my IP address on Windows?

(1) Click the Network icon in the taskbar.

(2) Select the network you are connected to.

(3) Click “Properties”.

(4) Scroll down to the bottom of the window to find your IP address next to “IPv4 Address”.

2. How do I find my IP address on my Mac?

(1) Select “System Preferences” on the Apple menu.

(2) Double-click the “Network” icon.

(3) Select “Ethernet” on the left side of the window – your IP address will appear in the middle of the window.

Why do I need to hide IP address?

IP Address

Concealing your local IP address is unnecessary as it remains private and visible only to devices on your network. However, protecting your public IP is crucial since your ISP can track your online activities when connected to the internet.

To enhance privacy and security, options like a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a proxy server can hide your public IP, though they differ significantly.

In conclusion, private IP addresses are essential for local network, commonly found in homes and offices. Devices within the same network are assigned private IPs by the router. These private IP addresses play a vital role in facilitating communication within the network, ensuring seamless interaction between devices and effective router communication.


When connecting to the internet, you receive a public IP address which is visible online and acts as your unique numeric code. It allows communication between servers on the worldwide web. In the digital landscape, both private and public IPs are essential for device connectivity and accessing internet resources.

IPv4 Superhub acts as a centralized platform, efficiently matching organizations with surplus public IP addresses to those in need. They navigate regulatory complexities, facilitate effective allocation, mitigate IPv4 address shortages and facilitate resource distribution, making them an essential component in distributing digital resources.Read on to the next page and know more about IPv4 Superhub!

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