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Difference Between Private and Public IP Addresses

An IP address is a digital footprint used to identify your computer while using a network. There are two types of IP addresses, and in the article below, we will help you learn the differences between a public and a private IP address. While on the web, your digital footprint can be exploited by criminals and give them access to your sensitive data. Clario VPN can help hide your IP address and keep hackers from stealing your personal information

Table of contents

What Is a Public IP Address?

Your Internet Service Provider (or ISP) will assign your network router an IP address when you connect to the internet through a device. This IP address acts like a home address that identifies who you are online, but it is safer due to the ISP not sharing your actual home address.

Is a Public IP address traceable?

Your Public IP address is traceable. Many government websites will openly admit they are tracing your digital footprint to understand where you are connecting from. This information can be valuable and resourceful to government agencies and advertisers. Understanding each user’s location can help them tailor their strategies to geographical traits and trends.


While official companies and agencies may have legitimate uses for IP address tracing, cybercriminals have also discovered a use for knowing where users are connecting from. Hackers will benefit from knowing which area a potential victim is connecting from as it will unlock more information for them to use during their cyber breaches.


Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network can leave you vulnerable to cyber-attacks, so make sure you are aware of the risks of using public Wi-Fi. Read this article on how proxy servers and VPNs can make your life easier and more secure when you are browsing on a public Wi-Fi system.

What Is a Private IP Address?

Your private IP address is similar to a public one, but this IP address is assigned by your network router and identifies each individual address connected to the network. Each device that you have connected to the network will have its own unique private IP address.  


Private IP addresses will allow two or more devices to communicate with one another without the need for an internet connection. This allows for a more safe and more secure network, as other external devices won’t be able to interact with your devices. Which is why your neighbors can’t accidentally print to your wireless printer.

Is a Private IP address traceable?

Private IP addresses are only traceable by other devices connected within your network. This private IP address is not visible online to others when you then connect to the internet through your network. This is why making sure your network is secure from external intruders is so important.

IP adress network

Public vs Private IP Address

The biggest difference between the two is the reach to whom the information is displayed. Public addresses are shown to the wider internet, so the information you are searching for knows how to reach you. Whereas, your private IP address is only displayed to devices inside of your secure private network. Below is a quick summary of public IPs vs private IPs.

Private IP AddressPublic IP Address
Used with LAN or network for communication to other linked devices inside your private networkUsed on a public network for communication over the internet
Not visible onlineVisible on the internet
Assigned by LAN admin from your private networkAssigned by the internet service provider
Unique in your private network and may be re-used by other separate networksUnique code globally that is never reused by other device
FreeCosts money

Ranges: - - -

Any number not reserved to Private IP addresses



IP address is secureHas not security and can be targeted in attacks

Public and Private IP Address Ranges and Examples

There is a specific range within which your private IP address will fall within. These ranges are reserved by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) specifically for private IP addresses and should never be visible online.


Each private network in the world will include devices that fall under these specific address ranges.

  • Class A - -
  • Class B - -
  • Class C - -

While these ranges might not seem as large as they would need to be to accommodate every private network. Remember, that each private network is unique from the next meaning they can re-use the same numbers for each network without overlap.


A public IP address range, on the other hand, is not isolated to one individual network and for that reason, they need to be unique from one another. The address range for public IP addresses uses every other number not reserved for Private IP addresses, as shown above. A public IP address example is

How to Check the Type of IP Address?

Each time you connect to the internet, your private IP address will be replaced by your public IP address. This is done to protect your private IP address and other devices connected to the same network from the rest of the internet.


If you want to find out what your IP address is, you can simply go onto Google and type in “What is my IP address?”, and google will load up what your public IP address is currently displayed as.


Finding your private IP address is simple, and with a few clicks on your device, you can load up the details of your device.

On Windows 11

  1. Press the Start Menu
  2. Click the Settings cog
Start menu on Windows

3. Go into the Network & Internet section


4. Press Properties and scroll down to find the IP address information.

IP address location on Windows

On Mac

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen
  2. Choose System Preferences
  3. Open Network
  4. Choose your network connection from the left panel menu
  5. You will see your private IP address under Connected.
IP Address information on Mac

On Android

  1. Tap the Settings button
  2. Scroll down and press About phone
  3. Tap Status Information and scroll down to find your IP information (on some Android versions you may not have the Status Information button, so just scroll down).
IP Address location on Android

On iOS

  1. Press the Settings cog on the main screen
  2. Press the Wi-Fi button
  3. Press the small blue ‘i’ button next to your network
  4. Scroll down to find the information on your IP Address.
IP Address on iPhone


Now you know the differences between public and private IP addresses, you can start focusing on how to protect them. Don’t put your private details at risk and leave your digital footprint behind online as you navigate the web. Use Clario VPN to cloak your public IP address making it harder for hackers and unwanted prying eyes to keep track of where you have been going on the web. Clario encrypts all your browser data online so even if a hacker is able to download your information they will be locked out of the contents protecting your information from being compromised.


Not only can Clario VPN cover your tracks but you can open region-locked content by changing your IP location to another country in these simple steps:

  1. Download and launch the Clario App
  2. Press Browsing
  3. Press the VPN switch on
  4. Allow Clario access to VPN Configurations
  5. Select which country from the menu you wish to use
  6. Browse safely and securely with Clario’s VPN.
How to use Clario VPN

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