Most of us recognize IP addresses as the identity of our devices connected to a particular network. Beyond showing your location and identifying your internet provider, you might wonder “What is my IP address doing for me?”
The answer: not a lot. For the most part, that is what most IP addresses are able to do in online communication. However, given that they are a part of your network, you might be worried about the security risks related to your network.
The IP address of any phone or computer is known by the user of that device and the network provider. Beyond that, there are methods by which third parties may attempt to find out your identity. While that’s not always bad, it’s still a serious issue of privacy and web safety.
Public vs Private IPs
Based on their network reach, IP addresses may be private or public. While both are used to identify a device, public IPs are the ones that are commonly employed by internet users everywhere. They can be viewed externally and include static as well as dynamic IPs.
Although they allow users to enjoy their Wi-Fi with minimal restrictions and wide-ranging connectivity, public IP addresses can be traced by intruders or hackers. If your cybersecurity requirements are particularly severe, that can be a problem. Many private or isolated servers instead use private IP addresses for their browsing.
How Special Are Private IP Addresses?
Private IP addresses are different from public ones because, instead of being connected to a router, they operate using an extremely localized network. While this restricts their usability, it also limits the risk of being followed by foreign devices.
For enterprises that need the unbeatable security of secluded networks, they enjoy private addresses which enable a system that prevents third parties from getting access for maximum IT security. However, they still fulfill the same basic function as IP addresses.
Like normal IP identifiers, devices with private IPs can communicate with each other if they share a restricted network. They identify each other by the same string of numbers that we use for public networks. Private IP addresses allow devices to carry out tasks and operations within the confines of a network, and can only be determined through the router.
What Do Private IP Addresses Bring to The Table?
They Enhance Cybersecurity
As mentioned before, the main benefit of private IP addresses is that they are not as easy to infiltrate. Normally, your IP address can be detected by ad agencies, web servers, hackers, and other authorities. This makes it a lot easier for them to track your online, monitor your location, or cause inconveniences like targeting for ads or cyberattacks.
When you have sensitive information that you’d like to keep as discreet as possible. That can be a problem. Therefore, private IP addresses may be used by companies or government bodies to prevent any leaks or external network interference.
They Allow Independent Networking
Devices operating with private IPs don’t have to worry about connectivity issues or other technical malfunctions that most others must contend with. They are much more stable to use than public networks.
Private networks only use the restricted device that assigns the private IP, which may be a switch or a router. Apart from security, it relieves the user’s complete control and handling power of the network, making it easier to deal with viruses or server issues themselves.
Plus, because there is no ISP involved in private networks, no one can enter your network without your permission. This includes legal investigators that may breach your network privacy through your service provider if they suspect you of any wrongdoing.
The Major Limits of Private IP Addresses
While allowing users or businesses to work in relative isolation and privacy is a key advantage of private networks, that is also the source of their main tradeoff: lack of connectivity to the rest of the world. Being cut off from the rest of the world wide web can cause issues for individuals as well as companies.
Not only are others barred from communicating with you. In fact, the restrictions of private IP addresses work well at both ends, meaning that you too will be unable to link with anyone outside the network. That can be a problem if you need to derive some of your operations or updates from other users or networks.
Plus, many of the charges and expenses associated with the network are incurred entirely by the user. That can be a waste of funds if you also have to dedicate time and money to a public server to maintain outside communication.
Private IP addresses are a major security booster, but they come at a cost. Many users can simply adopt safer browsing measures and know whats their IP address is and how it can be protected.