What is the difference between public and private IP?
If you’re not a techie, this question might be mired in considerable confusion and uncertainty.
We know this because of all the questions we get asked about IP addresses every single day, the difference between public and private IP is the one issue that people find most difficult to get their head around.
So, time to clear up the confusion once and for all.
Public and private IP addresses are not the same and it’s important to know the difference.
Here’s everything you need to know and more.
The Difference Between Public and Private IP
Let’s start at the beginning.
Firstly, What is an IP?
Your IP address is like a virtual mailing address in the online world. It’s a vital component of everything you do on the web. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to access the internet properly because the information you are seeking wouldn’t be able to find your computer.
Your IP address is a numerical label assigned to your device. It serves as your network identifier and it also provides your location.
Got it? Great! Let’s keep going.
A Public IP
A public IP address is a globally unique IP. It’s assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider as they are the ones giving you access to the internet. Public IP addresses have different IP number ranges than private IP addresses.
Think in terms of your broadband provider or DNS server. When at home, there may be several devices utilizing a single internet connection. These devices all share a single public IP address.
With a home network, no one specific IP number is assigned. Instead, the Internet Service Provider will allocate households any available address from their pool. If you stop using it, they will then reclaim that address.
A public IP address can be static or dynamic.
When it’s a static IP, it’s permanently assigned to you and it will stay the same over long periods of time. A static IP address is usually assigned to public organizations or server hosting websites where the same IP address is required all the time.
When you’re given a dynamic IP address, your IP address will change quite frequently.
A Private IP
Sometimes referred to as a local IP address, a private IP address is different than a public IP address.
In the same way that your Internet Service Provider issues you with a public IP, your router issues private IP addresses to each network device within your network.
In this way, each device within your network will receive a unique identification. You still have access to the network, but you are not taking up a public IP address space. Public IP address spaces, after all, are not infinite.
Private IP addresses are good for internal privacy. They never leave your private network. They also provide an easy way for devices that don’t need contact with the internet, like printers or file servers, to continue to communicate with other devices on the network, but without being exposed in a direct way.
The World of IP Addresses
So, knowing the difference between public and private IP addresses?
Consider it done!