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

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • spyware

    Spyware is a type of malicious software -- or malware -- that is installed on a computing device without the end user's knowledge.

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of specifying an index of approved software applications or executable files that are ...

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • 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. 

SearchStorage

  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory)

    Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that is typically used for the data or program code needed ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

Close