What Is the IP Address?

Using can lead to conflicts on a network is the beginning of the private IP address range that includes all IP addresses through This IP address is usually not used on a network, and a phone or computer wouldn't be assigned this address. However, some networks that include but do not start with this address could use it without problems for a device.

One common IP address assigned to home routers is This IP address is used because the router is on the network. In the same way, routers on the network are usually assigned the local, private IP address of

Why Most Devices Don't Use

Each Internet Protocol network consists of a continuous range of addresses. The protocol uses the first address number in the range to designate the network as a whole. These network numbers usually end in zero.

Chef using tablet with Wi-Fi symbol at home

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An address like becomes unusable for any other purpose after it's established as a network number. If an administrator assigns to any device on the network as a static IP address, the network stops functioning until that device is taken offline. can theoretically be used as a device address if that network is set up with a large address range, such as a network that spans from through, but the extra work of managing networks and subnets makes this practice uncommon even when it's technically permissible. That's why devices with IP addresses ending in zero are rarely seen on networks, except for is a placeholder address that is sometimes called an unspecified address or a wildcard address. It is not a routable address.

How Big Is the Network?

The size of the network depends on the network mask chosen. For example:

  • ranges between and with 65,534 possible hosts.
  • ranges between and with 16,382 possible hosts.
  • ranges between and with 254 possible hosts.

Home broadband routers that run on the network commonly have as the configuration, and normally use as the local gateway address. This setup allows the network to assign up to 254 devices with a valid IP address, a high number for home networks but possible, based on the configuration.

Home networks can only handle so many devices at once. Networks that have more than five to seven devices connected to the router at the same time often experience performance degradation. This problem doesn't arise from limitations of the network but instead from signal interference and bandwidth sharing.

How Works

The dotted-decimal notation of IP addresses converts the actual binary numbers that computers use into a human-readable form. The binary number corresponding to is:

  • 11000000 10101000 00000000 00000000

Because it is a private IPv4 network address, ping tests or any other connection from the internet or other outside networks cannot be routed to it. As a network number, this address is used in routing tables and by routers to share network information with each other.

Alternatives to

Other addresses ending in zero can be used instead of The choice is a matter of convention.

Home routers are usually installed on the network instead of, which means the router may have a private IP address of

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority reserves the following blocks of IP address space for private intranets:

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