- IP Address for Local Networks

Young woman using a laptop
Aping Vision/STS/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images is the fourth IP address in the range between and Home broadband routers often use this range when assigning addresses to local devices. A router can assign to any device on the local network automatically, or an administrator can do it manually.

Automatic Assignment of

Computers and other devices that support dynamic address assignment using DHCP can obtain an IP address automatically from a router.

The router decides which address to assign from the range it is set up to manage (called the "DHCP pool").

For example, a router is set up with a local IP address of normally maintains all of the addresses starting with and ending with in its DHCP pool. The router typically assign these pooled addresses in sequential order (although the order is not guaranteed). In this example, is the third address in line (after and for allocation.

Manual Assignment of

Computers, phones, game consoles, printers, and some other kinds of devices allow setting an IP address manually. The text "" or the four digits 192, 168, 1 and 4 must be keyed into an IP or Wi-Fi configuration screen on the device. However, simply entering the IP number does not guarantee the device can use it. The local network router must also have its subnet (network mask) configured to support

See: Internet Protocol Tutorial - Subnets.

Issues with

Most networks assign private IP addresses using DHCP. Assigning to a device manually (a process called "fixed" or "static" address assignment) is also possible but not recommended unless done by trained professionals.

IP address conflicts result when two devices on the same network are given the same address.

 Many home network routers have in their DHCP pool by default, and they do not check whether it has already been assigned to a client manually before assigning it to a client automatically. In the worst case, two different devices on the network will be assigned - one manually and the other automatically - resulting in failed connection issues for both.

A device that was dynamically assigned IP address may be re-assigned a different address if it is kept disconnected from the local network for a long enough time period.  The length of time, called a lease period in DHCP, varies depending on the network configuration but is often 2 or 3 days.  Even after the DHCP lease expires, a device is likely to still receive the same address the next time it joins the network unless other devices have also had their leases expire.

Was this page helpful?