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Difference Between Public and Private IP Address

Difference Between Public and Private IP Address
Oct 9, 2022
There are some major differences between public IP address and private IP address. Learn pros and cons of both IP addresses. Compare public and private IP addresses. Decide which one is the best for you.
Buse Eker
Privacy & Security
Difference Between Public and Private IP Address - FastVPN
If you are a remote worker or a freelancer enjoying the benefits of working in the comfort of your home or wherever you can connect to the internet, hopefully you are aware of the network security issues that come along with your IP address. Because if not, you might be in danger of losing assets and sensitive data of yours and -even worse- your clients’ as a result of malware or viruses, a data breach or phishing attacks and ending up with financial and operational consequences which you may never recover from, according to Rob Rees, Director of Direct and Partnerships from Markel Direct.
To learn more about how freelancers can be affected by cyber attack, read the whole article.
Knowing about public IP and private IP addresses will help you protect  your data and traffic from external threats and keep your internet activity secure. So read our article about the differences between a public IP address and a private IP address.

Public vs Private IP Address: What Is The Difference?

Both a public IP and a private IP address are used to identify a machine on the internet. In this way, they allow devices to communicate with each other and are vital to connecting to the internet. However, they differ in many ways. We’ve listed the key differences between a public IP address and a private IP address in this article.
A public IP address is a unique range of numbers assigned to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). A private IP address, on the other hand, is assigned by the network router and it is unique only within the network.  Besides, while a public IP address has a certain cost, a private IP is free.
A public IP address identifies you to the global internet enabling you to correctly get data from sites and webpages. A private IP address, however, identifies different devices within a network. Thanks to it, the router knows which device the data coming from the internet will be sent to.
The scope of a public IP address is global while a private IP’s is local. In other words, by using a public IP address, you can communicate outside the network while a private IP enables a device to interact with others on the same network. Private IP addresses never leave the local network, so no traffic outside it can be exchanged through them. This is why you can send papers to your printer using a private IP address while your neighbour can’t.
A public IP is visible to sites and webpages so that it can correctly communicate with them. In fact, it can be seen by every website you visit. Unlike that, a private IP address is only visible to the other devices in the local network.
As a result of its visibility, a public IP address can be traced. This makes it easier for third party like ISPs, advertisers, governments as well as hackers, snoopers, and identity thieves to follow what you do online and analyze online behaviour. It can also reveal your geographical location to a certain extent. On the other hand, a private IP address is only traceable by devices within the network.
The differences between public and private IP addresses are summarized below.

How To Understand If An IP is Public or Private

The range of numbers in your IP address will help you understand if your IP is public or private.
There are three layers of predetermined ranges for Private IP addresses:
Class A —;
Class B —;
Class C —
So, simply we can say any number outside the predetermined ranges above is a public IP. In fact, you can learn your IP address with a few simple steps.

Pros and Cons of Using Public IP


Using only a public IP address has some advantages. First, it makes communication easier without restriction issues. It also makes server administration and setup easier. Also being directly connected to the internet, softwares can be upgraded without delay.


On the other hand, a public IP address is open to surveillance and tracking risks. As it is visible in every online activity, it can easily be traced and put your sensitive and confidential data in danger of being hunted by cybercriminals. It can even be used to change your internet settings to be directed to phishing websites which are after your login credentials. That’s why using a public IP requires a solid security strategy in place.

Pros and Cons of Using Private IP


A private network has its pros, too. First of all, it is less affected by external factors like server outages or internet connection disruptions. Technical issues like server failure are handled more easily and rapidly without having to wait for the internet provider or response of server administrator. Besides, being isolated from other networks, private networks are obviously more secure. If you are dealing with sensitive data, the risk of leaving your system vulnerable to cyber attacks is lowered.


There are still enough cons to consider another way to stay online safely, though.
Just with a private IP address, it is impossible to communicate with other devices on public networks and send or receive data from third parties. So it limits your ability to connect to a larger audience. Also the configuration for private IP networks may require extra hardware and may cost higher especially if you maintain an open network simultaneously to communicate with third parties. Completion of digital software updates can be a problem, too.
Most importantly, hackers can track down your private IP address that belongs to a particular device once they gain access to your local network, so using a private IP still doesn’t guarantee data security.

Consider Using a VPN For Your Security

With so much sensitive data flowing through your internet traffic and hackers waiting there to get advantage of it, it is vital to maintain your online security. Among alternatives like using a Proxy to change your IP, the most effective way is to create a virtual private network by using a VPN. Using a VPN will establish a secure connection through a VPN tunnel by hiding your server location and encrypting your data. As a result, you will no longer be traceable.
Download FastVPN now to ensure data security with blazing-fast speeds!


Using a public IP address is what you need to communicate with the global network- so it is more than a choice. However, you must be aware of the traceability risks that come with it- especially if you are a remote worker and deal with sensitive data belonging to your customers.
Although using a private IP address is more secure than a public IP, it has its own limitations like isolation of the network or incomplete software updates. That’s why it’s vital to make sure you are online without being traceable.
Solution? FastVPN is literally the fastest way to stay securely connected to the entire world of internet! Download FastVPN now and enjoy being safe from cyber attacks without losing even a bit of your speed!
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