IPv4 : Private and Public IP Address

In this article, we will go throw Private and Public IP addresses in IPv4. Both, have their different usages. After reading, this article you will understand their different usages, address spaces, VPNs, Reversed IP addresses.

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Private IP vs Public IP

What is a Private IP address?

Private IP address is the specific range of IP address, which is assigned to Computers to provide connectivity in a private space. If we want to connect our local computers, then we assign private IP addresses. They are free of cost and the same IP address can be assigned on different computers at different geographic locations. Private IP addresses are :

IP ClassStarting IP AddressEnding IP AddressTotal Hosts
Class A10.0.0.010.255.255.25516,777,216
Class B172.16.0.0172.31.255.2551,048,576
Class C192.168.0.0192.168.255.25565,536

So, according to this table, we have 16 million private IP in class A, 1 million private IP addresses in class B and 65000 private IP addresses in class C.

We have some special IP addresses range from 169.254.0.0 to 169.254.255.255. They are used by APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing).

How to check the Private IP address?

There are several ways to identify your private IP address. To check your private IP address, just go to command prompt and type “ipconfig” command and hit Enter.

how-to-check-ip-address-in-windows
How to check IP address in windows

If you are using Linux Machine, then you have to open your terminal and type below-mentioned command to check the private IP address.

ifconfig

Now, might be a question in your mind. How we can use internet using a private IP address? We need to use NAT (Network Address Translation), in order to provide internet connectivity to computer’s in which a private IP address is allocated.

What is the Public IP address?

A public IP address, on the other hand, can be access from anywhere. Public IP is a unique IP address, which can only be assigned to a system. We have to pay in order to get a public IP address. Any, IP device, which has a public IP address, can be accessed from anywhere.

Actually, a public IP address or a range of public IP addresses is given by ISP (Internet Service Provider’s). So, the device on which public IP is assigned can be accessed from anywhere. Such devices are Routers, Firewall, Servers etc.. Although, we use NAT (Network Address Translation), to provide Internet connectivity to private IP addresses.

All IP addresses, except private IP addresses, are included in Public IP. You can refer above table for Private IP addresses and their range.

How to check Public IP address?

So, now we know, that Public IP address is a unique IP address, which can be assigned only a system. In order to check your public IP address you can visit the following links :

How to hide your Public IP address?

You can’t hide your public IP address, because all of your traffic goes from a particular link which is taken from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). But, you can hide your real Public IP address from websites you visit. For this, you have to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

If you want to hide your public IP address, you can use VPN (Virtual Private Network). There are many companies which provide VPN facility. You may need to pay these companies in order to use their VPN. Also, if you need a VPN for personal or home purpose, then you should go for free VPNs.

Reserved IP address

There are several types of Addresses which are not used for communication purpose. Here, we will discuss, the two most common types of IP address, which are not used as a communication purpose.

  • Loopback Addresses: The whole subnet 127.0.0.0 to 127.255.255.255 are reserved for loopback addresses. These addresses are used to test a network card or integrated chip system. In the real world, we only use the 127.0.0.1 address to check the Network Card. But, the whole subnet is reserved as a loopback address.
  • The 0’s Subnet:  In IPv4, addresses from 0.0.0.0 to 0.255.255.255 are reserved and can not be used in communication. Actually, we never saw any use of such IP addresses in the real world.

Summary

Private IP addresses are free and used to provide connectivity in a private space. Same address can be used in different devices over a different location. Computers with private IP address have local connectivity. We need NAT (Network Address Translation) in order to provide Internet connectivity.

Public IP, on the other hand, is a unique IP address and accessible from any geographic location. These IP address usually provided by ISPs (Internet Service Provider).

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