Public vs Private IP Address – Differences and Uses

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: December 15, 2023
Read time: 12 minutes

This article describes all the differences between a public and private IP address. It also explains how to hide your IP address with a VPN.

Private IP addresses are more secure than public IP addresses. That is because devices in your local network can only see a private IP address. On the other hand, your public IP address is seen by your ISP, hackers, and the government. Your private IP address can only be attacked by malware or cyber scams when a third party gains access to your local network.

IP addresses are numerical identifiers assigned to a device or router. By using it, you can direct internet traffic to the right place. Your postal address is equivalent to an IP address by which the postal department can deliver letters to the recipient.

Most users only know about IP addresses, but few are aware of public IP addresses. Both IP addresses help users to connect to the internet.

This article will discuss the minor and major differences between the two by comparing the public vs private IP addresses. Also, we will explain how you can protect yourself and your IP address from possible online threats.

Public IP address vs. Private IP address overview

A public IP address is a unique code your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gives your device. Thanks to this code, your devices may connect through the internet. A public IP address makes peer-to-peer communication, server setup, and website hosting possible.