Browse Definitions :
Definition

private IP address

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A private IP address is a non-Internet facing IP address on an internal network. Private IP addresses are provided by network devices, such as routers, using network address translation (NAT).

Originally it was thought that IPv4's 32-bit IP addressing system -- yielding 4,294,967,296 theoretical IP addresses -- would be adequate for all purposes. However, as the Internet grew it became apparent that something had to fill the gap between IPv4 and a future system (which would turn out to be IPv6) that would take time to develop and implement. Private IP addressing and NAT fill that gap with the private IP range.

Private IP addressing uses addresses from the class C range reserved for NAT (192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255). Private addresses can be assigned by the router using DHCP or be manually set, after which those addresses can communicate with one another through the router.

Private IP addresses can only be guaranteed unique to an internal network, excepting conflicts. If a directly connected computer does not have a static IP address assigned, even assigning a private IP address manually will not enable communication.

Private IP addresses cannot be directly contacted over the Internet as a computer with a public IP address can. This situation affords an extra layer of security: A network NAT device communicates with the Internet using its public IP address from an ISP and checks to see if any incoming data was requested by one of the private IP-assigned computers. If so, it is directed to that computer; if not it is typically discarded.  

Another benefit of using NAT, for those who do tend to have incoming requests -- like websites, file and game servers – is the ability to quickly switch servers in the event of a crash, as the incoming traffic can all be forwarded to a back-up server very easily.

This was last updated in November 2013

Continue Reading About private IP address

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

I do not agree with the sentence "Private IP addresses are provided by network devices, such as routers, using network address translation (NAT)". Private IP addresses are not provided by devices running NAT. They are defined from the Private IPv4 ranges defined by IETF in RFC1918 and provided by IANA.
Cancel
I found it's now really easy to find out your private IP address: http://ipinfo.co - shows your private and public IP adresses. Works with Firefox and Chrome.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • GPS jamming

    GPS jamming is the process of using a frequency transmitting device to block or interfere with radio communications.

  • time-based one-time password (TOTP)

    A time-based one-time password (TOTP) is a temporary code, generated by an algorithm, for use in authenticating access to ...

  • Security Operations Center (SOC)

    A security operations center (SOC) is a command center facility for a team of IT professionals with expertise in information ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD (solid-state drive)

    An SSD (solid-state drive) is a type of nonvolatile storage media that stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • storage class memory (SCM)

    Storage class memory (SCM) is a type of NAND flash that includes a power source to ensure that data won't be lost due to a system...

Close