Non Routable IP Addresses: What Is It? (A Complete Guide)

Non Routable IP Addresses: What Is It? (A Complete Guide)

by Evelyn Addison — 7 months ago in Security 4 min. read

At times when you indulge into the realm of internet and networking. Not often, but, indeed, you may have heard of routable IP addresses and non routable IP addresses.

You can think of these two as a type of network connection that each do have advantages and disadvantages.

In this blog, you will learn about non-routable ip addresses with its importance, pros and cons, role b/w IPv4 and IPv6, and differences.

Let’s get into the details.

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What Are Non Routable IP Addresses, And Why Are They Critical?

Non-routable IP addresses or private IP addresses are reserved numbers (contains four numbers separated by dots with range specified and incorporate RFC 1918 as structure) that computers use to communicate with each other within a private network.

Generally, home and office networks are built on top of this technology to ensure efficient device communication processes and seamless private network operations.

These IP addresses are hard to crack as it uses strong layers of protection and prohibits hackers from breaching your system.

Importance of non-routable IP addresses space:

  • Encrypted shared communication.
  • Safe and secured connectivity.
  • Prohibits outside world from authorised happening.
  • Allow the owner to control who accesses your network.
  • Enable users to create guest and dedicated networks.
  • Helps create a local network without unmasking its routes.
  • This network can be used by one such as CEO or group, for instance; developer team.

The need for non-routable IP addresses is essential for various reasons. Be it securing local area networks or transferring sensitive information, thanks to private network addresses that grants such power.

Thus, switching from a routable IP address to a private one is beneficial. However, there are differences between both of them.

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Routable vs. Non-Routable IP Addresses

Glance at the differences between routable and non-routable IPs:

Basis Routable IPs Non-Routable IPs
Data Forwarding Happen from one network to another. It is not possible.
Data Transfer Transfers data from one network to another via router. Cannot use routers to transmit data over the network.
Accommodate Incorporates a network address and a device address. Only contains a device address.
Used For Used for large networks. Designed for local networks.
Technical Complexity Requires technical know-how to maintain. Less complex than routable IPs.
Accessibility Has direct internet access. Needs NAT for internet access.
Network Usability Can operate in different networks. Limited to the same network.
Security Directly exposed to the internet and needs extra security measures. Out from the internet, therefore offers an additional layer of security.

Are There Any Advantages And Disadvantages Of Non-Routable Address Space?

Indeed, private network access has its own advantages and disadvantages. Following are advantages and disadvantages of non-routable addresses.

Advantages of Non-Routable Address Space:

High level security: Undoubtedly, enhanced security which grants secured communication over compute. As there is no involvement of the internet, making them less susceptible to external threats.

Network isolation: Another advantage is isolated networks, where devices can communicate within the private network. This feature is commonly used for internal company networks and home networks.

Good for testing and development: Non-routable addresses are useful for testing and development objectives. For instance; developers can simulate various scenarios without affecting external systems.

Reduced Network Traffic: By keeping internal communication within private address space, it reduces unnecessary traffic on the public internet, leading to more efficient data usage and potentially lower costs.

Disadvantages of Non-Routable Address Space:

Limited external communication: Primitively, devices on private networks can only communicate with the internet indirectly through a NAT or proxy.

Configuration complexity: In large ventures, managing private address spaces can be more complicated. It is because accurate configuration is required to ensure that ranges do not conflict with each other.

IP tracing is difficult: Another concern is end-to-end IP tracing. It is difficult to do because troubleshooting is not possible from a remote site.

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What Is The Non-Routable IP address Range Defined By RFC 1918?

Request For Comment 1918 (RFC) is the responsibility of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) organisation for assigning private IP addresses on TCP/IP networks.

They have made networking standards for private IPs. Basically, these standards act as a reservation for non routable IP addresses.

Here’s the RFC1918 standardised for private address space:

  • – (
  • – (
  • – (

Ironically, these specified standards are only allotted to the enterprises authorised for internal use only.

How Do VPNs Use Non-Routable IP Addresses For Secure Internet Communication?

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) use non-routable IP addresses as part of their architecture to create secure and private connections between users and the VPN server.

Here’s how VPNs use non-routable IP addresses:

1) Internal VPN Network

When you connect to a VPN, your device becomes part of the VPN’s internal network.

The VPN server assigns your device a non-routable IP address from a reserved private address space (e.g.,, in IPv4, or fc00::/7 in IPv6).

2) Tunnelling

To share data securely, VPN sends the data packets into a secure tunnel.

3) Encryption

In addition to tunnelling, VPNs employ encryption to protect the data within the tunnel.

The data is encrypted using encryption algorithms.

4) Routing

Routers on the internet route the encrypted packets based on the public IP address of the VPN server, and they are delivered to the VPN server’s location.

5) Decryption and Decapsulation

Upon reaching the VPN server, the data is decrypted, and the outer headers are removed, revealing the original data packets.

The VPN server then sends these decrypted packets to their intended destination on the internet.

6) Response Path

The VPN server receives the response, encrypts it, and encapsulates it in a tunnel directed to your device’s non-routable IP address.

7) Decryption on Your Device

At last, the client receives the encrypted data, decrypts it, and delivers the original response to your application.

In short…

VPNs assign your device a non-routable IP address from a private range when you connect to them. They create a secure “tunnel” around your data while incubating non-routable IP addresses as the source.

Next, our data is encrypted and protected while travelling over the public internet. The VPN server decrypts the data and sends it to its intended destination using its own public IP address. When the response comes back, it goes through the same process in reverse, ensuring secure and private communication.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use non routable IP addresses?

The non-routable IP addresses are specifically designed for internal communication or transfer of data. This means, reserved for use only within private/corporate network.

Is IPv4 non routable?

No, IPv4 as a whole is not non-routable.

Is IPv6 non routable?

No, IPv6 is not non-routable. Similar to IPv4, IPv6 is designed to be routable.

What is the example of non routable ip addresses?

IPv4 Non-Routable IP Address example - - ( and IPv6 example - fc00::/7 (starting with fd).

Evelyn Addison

Evelyn is an assistant editor for The Next Tech and Just finished her master’s in modern East Asian Studies and plans to continue with her old hobby that is computer science.

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