We've talked a lot about IP addresses in general, but did you know there are different types of IP addresses? And one of these is the Private IP Address! So, what makes a private IP address different than a regular public one?
A private IP Address is, as you may expect, private. Rather than being shared across the internet as your universal identifying marker, it is rather an IP address only used for internal use, such as behind a private router.
You can use these private IP addresses in closed and private home and business networks -- otherwise known as local networks.
But here's the real question -- why on earth do we even need private IP addresses? Can't certain public IP addresses be reserved for private or local use?
Well, they can, but the thing is that there are theoretically a limited number of public IP addresses that can be assigned -- we're already running into issues with the number of public IPs assigned to devices. So it just makes sense for local networks and private routers to develop a new numerical system that uses the same core concept but doesn't overlap with established public IP address systems!
Private IP addresses provide an easy fix to the problem of in-demand public IP addresses, while also providing a way for devices that don't connect to the internet (such as printers or other likewise devices) to be identified.