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What's The Difference Between External And Local IP Addresses?

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External and local IP addresses both serve the same purpose, the difference is scope. An external or public IP address is used across the entire Internet to locate computer systems and devices. A local or internal IP address is used inside a private network to locate the computers and devices connected to it.


External (Public) IP Address


Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns you an external IP address when you connect to the Internet. When your web browser requests a webpage, it sends this IP address along with it. Your ISP uses this to know which of its customers are requesting which webpage. Also, any website that you visit will have access to this IP address.

Your external IP address is 162.158.78.242.

Every website also has an IP address of its own, though you never need to know them. When you type in the domain name, such as "www.google.com", a Domain Name Server (DNS) looks up the IP address for you, which is the real location of the website. In this way, domain names are like human-friendly names pointing to machine-friendly IP addresses.


Local (Internal) IP Address


If your computer is connected to a router with default settings, that router will automatically assign a local IP address to your computer. Your local IP address is hidden from the outside world and used only inside your private network. You generally don't need to know much about it unless you're trying to set up a game or web server.

The local IP address can change depending on what other devices are connected to the same network and in what order they were connected. Most network routers assign IP addresses starting at 192.168.1.2, and increment the last digit with each new device that connects.

For example: If you turn on your computer first and it is the only device connected to your network, it will probably be assigned the local IP address 192.168.1.2. Then if you turn on your laptop and connect to the network it will probably be assigned the local IP address 192.168.1.3. And so on and so forth (the IP address 192.168.1.1 is generally reserved for the router itself).

You can assign devices specific IP addresses in the router control panel, so that a device will always receive the same local IP address when it connects. This is called a static local IP address. Consult your router manual for more information.


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Comments (14)

Nick   Oct 23, 2018
Sophie, that's correct. Though the bank will see different User Agents and probably different Cookies that were set for each devices browser.
Sophie   Oct 23, 2018
Basic question - when I log into my bank account from home using my laptop, and then later using my iPad, does the bank know that two different devices have logged in? I'm thinking not, because the bank only sees my external IP address, which would be the same for both devices because they go via the same router. I'm not quite sure though. Thx
Laurie   Oct 09, 2018
I find this IP stuff very confusing I guess due to the problems I've been having with my phone? My host ID yes that sounds correct . But my local IP when I search the number comes up as UK defense department? I live in Ontario Canada? The reason I started looking into everything in the first place was because many of the sites I would be directed to on Google where in the UK? How does this happen? Is this normal? I'm hoping someone can help me because this is the third phone I have bought and had so many things going on with them. Any help would be very much appreciated thank you.
Laurie   Oct 09, 2018
I find this IP stuff very confusing I guess due to the problems I've been having with my phone? My host ID yes that sounds correct . But my local IP when I search the number comes up as UK defense department? I live in Ontario Canada? The reason I started looking into everything in the first place was because many of the sites I would be directed to on Google where in the UK? How does this happen? Is this normal? I'm hoping someone can help me because this is the third phone I have bought and had so many things going on with them. Any help would be very much appreciated thank you.
Jordan   Sep 29, 2018
Is that an example above or is that supposed to be my actual IP address? It's different from the one reported on other websites.
john   Aug 28, 2018
hi, thank you for this
Mike   Aug 22, 2018
This is one of the clear explanation one can find on the internet. Thank you!
Kostas   Jul 24, 2018
Your explanation is very clear ! Thanks!
Char   Jun 21, 2018
Very helpful information. It helped me solve my problem
Mukhtar ali   Jun 12, 2018
Very good specification thanks
Li Sec   May 13, 2018
Thank you about these infomations.
Santhosh   Apr 09, 2018
Thank you very much , very useful content.
JC   Apr 07, 2018
Thanks most helpful and directive to the point...Have a great day!
Sharon D.   Feb 09, 2018
This info was very helpful and friendly informative. Easily understood and clearly read. Thank you
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