Understanding Private IP Ranges, Uses, Benefits, and Warnings

An IP address is a set of numbers and dots that identifies a device. Private IP ranges are series of numbers blocked from public use.

You can use a public IP address to access the internet, create your own server, gain remote access to your device, and more. Many people want public IP addresses for these benefits. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of them to go around.

As a result, experts recommend that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) give their clients private IP addresses pulled from private IP ranges set aside for that purpose.

How does a private IP address work?

Anyone with a private IP address can't get direct-sent internet traffic. Instead, they work with Network Address Translation (or NAT), which allows multiple devices to use the same public IP address. In essence, you're part of a network that all shares one resource.

Private IPv4 address ranges include:

  • to

  • to

  • to

More are available within IPv6:

  • fc00::/7 address block = RFC 4193 Unique Local Addresses (ULA)

  • fec0::/10 address block = deprecated (RFC 3879)

If you’re not sure if you’re working within a public or private IP address network, try www.MyIP.com. In seconds, you’ll get a report that tells you exactly how you’re connected.

Private network risks and benefits

Using private IP ranges enhances your security. Your public IP isn't visible to those that might harm you, and your NAT could protect other devices within your home.

Companies could, in theory, save a little money and effort by sticking with private IP networks. Rather than exposing their company to multiple security risks from all of the devices their employees might use, they only have one public risk to worry about.

But sharing resources can make managing networks tough. If you're hoping to combine two networks, you could end up with IP address duplications and plenty of troubles along the way.

Do you have more questions about IP addresses and how they work? Check out our blog post about the Domain Name System.


Address Allocation for Private Internets. (February 1996). Network Working Group.

Private IP Address Ranges. Microfocus.

Home. My IP.com.